Posted by: VoiceinRecovery | January 17, 2011

Follow ViR Website Move!

Dear ViR Supporters:

I am moving this blog over to my main domain!!! http://www.voiceinrecovery.com/blog/

I am truly excited to be self hosting and learning html as I grow. The new website is very much a work in progress, as I am still learning how to use Headway and just barely learning coding!

I wanted to take this time to let you all know I truly appreciate your support of this blog and hope you follow me over to the new one. This was something on my 2011 goals and I am so grateful for all the wonderful supportive people who have helped guide me and offered support in any way I needed. All of the content from this website has been moved over so you will be able to read all of the work there, but going forward I will only be blogging from the new website.

I hope to grow my website to more than a blog and am looking forward to the future of ViR with all of you!!!

You never know what life has in store for you, but I believe there are certain things one is meant to go through” ~ Gloria Estefan

The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created–created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them, changes both the maker and the destination” ~ John Schaar

Photo by: Eduardo Ferreira de Almeida

Posted by: VoiceinRecovery | January 13, 2011

Love Your Flawz

I know I am probably the last person to come across this website – Love Your Flawz – but I found it’s absolutely wondering and inspiring and just HAD to share it with you all!!! My mom had seen a video on AOL, and was sharing her reactions to it, gave me the link, and was listening to the song as we were speaking. I would like to thank my mom for sharing with me!  This is an amazing website created by Caitlin Crosby and Brie Larson and it is “a place to share all of your amazing, unique flaws. Our mission is to help all of us learn to love and embrace them…imperfect is the new perfect.”

Caitlin has a song called all about Flawz – so please check it out here!

If you want to see an intro to Caitlin, and why she created Love Your Flawzplease watch this recent video.

I found it so honest for her to talk about the amount of people she had met who had hated their body, had eating disorders, and she truly wanted to inspire people to embrace who they are, flaws and all.

I loved absolutely EVERY part of this website. I loved that people could post pictures and could post blogs sharing their struggles and protest of ideals, and accepting who they are, flawz and all!

As a body image advocate I LOVE body acceptance and find flaws beautiful! I know many may struggle with this idea, but I love that Caitlin and Brie have created a safe place for people to embrace their individual unique selves!

How many times do we self pick apart our body, whether it be our scars, acne, thighs, skin, hair, butt, stomach, and every other body part???? I know I sure did and still have days where I have to smack that voice (it never wins).

I loved so many of the honest inspiring blog posts on this website from people all over! Here are a few of my favorites:

“I’m Done with all the Self Hatred”

 I’m done with all the hatred with having to look perfect! i want people to stop judging me about everything! i want to be myself.
I want to stop seeing my reflection in the mirrors staring back at me showing me something else to change about myself.

I hate having to put makeup and products in my hair to please people and to just please myself by the way i look!

This isn’t want what i want. I need to love my flawz and im learning to Love Myself…

Kellie/15yrs kellielizabeth1

“Now I am an Adult”


I am determined to raise my daughter in a world where beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. I want her to know that everyone is beautiful – and she is gorgeous because she is herself. Flaws and all.
Erin Kempfert

I saw a lot of entries from teens but this one touched me from a woman in her 40s:

I wonder if I am the only one in my 40’s to join this site, but when I heard about it I was very excited because for many years I did not like myself at all How I wish there was a sight like this when I was younger..I was always trying to improve myself someway, somehow. I was NEVER pretty enough. I would look in the mirror and I thought I had a big nose. I am naturally dark brown hair, with brown eyes, but I would color my hair blond, then week later go back brown, I did this constantly, until my hair was so damaged I had to cut it all off! I always wanted to look like someone else. Then I was really depressed! I was too skinny, and I had psoriasis on my arms and legs, and anybody with psoriasis can understand how hard it is to feel pretty. It took me a long time to accept myself, and to stop looking in magazines and comparing myself to everyone else The more I was unhappy with myself the uglier I became-you need to look in that mirror and LOVE who is looking back at you!.I needed to accept me, and once that happened I glowed with beauty beyond words! I love who I am today, nobody can be me. God made me Perfect and God made YOU PERFECT! I hope I can help anybody out there, please don’t wait till your in your 40’s to love yourself, and if you are in your 40’s ,50’s,60’s it’s never to late.

All of these people have inspired me and am thankful to Caitlin for her song and this website – have they inspired you???? If so, please visit their website, add your own entry and claim ownership in the beauty of your flaws!

 

Posted by: VoiceinRecovery | January 12, 2011

5 Body Image Lessons from “Say Yes to the Dress”

Yes I am going to say a TV show has lessons to learn in body image, self acceptance, confidence, boundary setting, and being true to you!!

I started watching, on a whim, with my mentee on Netflix when indecisive over what to watch. If you are not familiar with the show – Say Yes to the Dress is on TLC and it follows brides-to-be search for the perfect wedding dress (for them!!)

I wanted to share some of my favorite lessons I have learned from this show. Sure, it isn’t a perfect show, but I watch it and always feel great after it, because it is all about helping these women feel their best, for their day.

Be TRUE to YOU!

On this show EVERYONE has an opinion, some will be blunt, some quiet, and others downright mean. I LOVE that the consultants ask “How do you feel in the dress?” This is what I love and what to learn in our body acceptance and body image journey. We have messages coming at us from the media, from people, from magazines, from everywhere! But we have to find our true self. We have to find our own acceptance. How do we feel, are our feelings coming from within us, or from the ideals in society?

I think when we look at ourselves from the inside, and work to self acceptance, it brings confidence, beauty, and self-love to the forefront. When women show confidence in the dress and when women say “I FEEL pretty” and start crying, my heart melts. I love that women of all sizes can find a dress they feel beautiful in, and feel confident in, and most of them go with their OWN opinions, but I do see other waiver and hear others more. This is why I think the consultants are wonderful, they listen to the to-be bride, and act as their biggest cheerleader and always bring it back to how they feel in the dress. Body image and body acceptance is a personal/individual journey, and finding our own voice and own visions of beauty and confidence, is when we feel most whole.

Fashion is very much a confidence booster and body image booster

I think how we approach everyday fashion can and should be the way these women look for wedding dresses. We need to ask ourselves how we feel in our clothing, do we feel confident, do we feel pretty, do we feel sexy, and does it feel right for us. I dislike some fashion blogs that criticize fashion for plus-sized women as “inappropriate” which I feel is sizism. If YOU feel wonderful in a pair of jeans, tights, shirt, shoes who cares what others think? Fashion is very personal! How would things change if we went shopping for clothing and approached it with the care of what they do when wedding dress shopping? When I heard “I absolutely don’t feel like a plus size girl” I wanted to hug her! Because we are NOT our size, our label, our weight, we are individuals, with individual beauty!

I absolutely love when women walk into the store, know what they like, and know their style and what feels like them. And often even those who do not know what they want, end up trying on something that they find perfect for them. I think this is about listening to who we are, knowing how we want to feel in clothing, and finding our own inner fashion rockstar!

Having a Voice & Boundaries are Crucial!

I yell at the tv a lot when watching this show! I yell at the family members/friends/fiance when they do not realize this is about the bride, her dress, and her wedding day. Isn’t that like life though? This is YOUR life, YOUR journey, and you have a right to live it the way you want! Opinions from some of the so-called “support systems” they bring say things that are not truly supportive. Sometimes they push onto the to-be bride what their visions, hopes, and ideas are. I see them often not even “get” that they are pushing their ways onto another person. I am pretty sure a lot of you have had a person or people who have been like this at one point in our life.

This is similar in life and in recovery – people we may “think” are supportive may not be completely supportive. People are not perfect, and voicing our concerns, our boundaries is crucial in life to establish healthy relationships. I often see the consultant act as therapist and listen to the girls cry, or share their frustrations in the closed room, and they get to voice their issues. I think voicing our concerns, and boundaries, are important because the other person may not even realize what they are saying is hurtful. When we establish boundaries and voice our concerns, then we are open and honest. If people decide they cannot respect your boundaries, then you may need to decide if this person is healthy for you. I see this when women leave the store without a dress and then later come back and get a dress without the crew they originally brought it, so their true voice is what goes into the dress choice. I loved hearing one women say “it is MY day and she (her mother) will just have to get over it!” And when they choose the dress that is right for them, they glow!

I know I feel most confident, and sure of who I am inside and out when my voice aligns with who I am and the actions I take in life. Inner and outer beauty coexist when our voice, our actions, our spirit all align.

Being Open Minded

Sometimes we think we know who we are, accept our fears, and aren’t open to new challenges, opportunities and trying new things. There are some brides-to-be who think they know what styles they love, and realize it doesn’t work for them, and they fall in love with the exact opposite of what they thought they wanted. This is where I challenge you to step outside your box in life and try new things! Sometimes how we think we will feel about something, will be absolutely different from when we actually try something. I always thought I would LOVE living in Boston, and when I moved there the reality was very different from what I thought. But I learned so much more about who I am, by daring to move across the county, experiencing a different culture, and in the end realized that home is more than a house. Home is the people, the feelings, the balance you feel in your surroundings. I dare you to try something new! See how you feel doing it!

I do this with fashion and makeup as well! I love to experiment with different looks, and I love trying new things, to see how I feel in a certain look, whether I feel confident, comfortable, sexy, hot, beautiful, calm, etc. I once when to work for months without makeup because I thought I couldn’t do it, and wanted to dare myself to find comfort in my skin. And after a week I loved the ease, loved that I wasn’t uncomfortable, and could put makeup on or leave it off and I would still be the same person! I realized that confidence comes from how I carry myself, how I feel about myself, and who I am and everything else is fun, an accessory to who I am.

Beauty Comes in ALL Sizes!

Beauty is so dynamic! I love the women who come into the store and love what they leave with. Beauty is more than what we look like. It is about how we feel about ourselves. I know women of all sizes struggle with body acceptance, even if they fit the “ideals”. I truly believe that women need to look inside, find who they are, work toward accepting who they are, because the most beautiful person is true to who they are, feel confident, know their boundaries, and are willing to find and be their true authentic self! Individuality is beautiful. Intelligence is beautiful. Having a voice is beautiful. Recovery is beautiful. LIFE is beautiful. We just need to look inside ourselves, and find our own definition of what beauty is, and NOT what everyone else is saying is beautiful. Find your true self and that is absolutely beautiful.

Randy, one of my favorites, said once on the show “it’s not the size of the dress, it’s the shape of the silhouette” and I love that. I also loved when one women had a baby, was worried about her post baby body, and he stepped in and said “Look at that beautiful silhouette, and guess what you have someone who loves you, that is marrying you, who obviously loves you the way you are, and that’s really important.”

I know for me, I couldn’t SEE myself truly in early recovery. I kept seeing something different from reality, because the eating disorder mind is truly distorted. I told people “I cannot see myself, so I will rely on how you see me instead.” It took away the power from my inner voice, and gave the power to the ones I love, who love me. In time, I was able to see that who I was on the inside is my power and ultimate beauty. Feeling comfortable and self accepting of my body came in time! I still have days where the inner voice says a comment, but I am able to voice my authentic voice very quickly and go back to my inner being, and quiet any voice. And if I struggle more, I voice it out loud, on twitter, and search out others who love me for support.

My mentee @BeliefHopeTrust said to me tonight “I just love how the brides face lights up. She could have never felt pretty before but she puts on the perfect wedding dress and tears come…it’s remarkable.”

Body image and body acceptance is a journey, and one where every step matters. I hope you seek out Body Image Warriors, Recovery Warriors, and can begin your journey to finding your true inner beauty, because that WILL radiate outwards!

Say yes to YOU!!


Posted by: VoiceinRecovery | January 5, 2011

My First Vlog!

My first vlog!!! Welcome to ViR ~ This video is an intro to who I am, what ViR is all about, and how recovery absolutely is possible from eating disorders, substance abuse, self harm, etc. I believe in you recovery warriors and those who struggle with body image issues!

I know this isn’t great quality, I had not even planned a video! I was playing with Photo Booth and thinking about doing a new profile pic, and just clicked on video instead. So this was a first run through, no plan of what I was going to say, on the whim, no editing, and I know now I need to work on these. I hope you enjoy and can at least put a face and real “voice” to me.

Let me know what you think! Should I do more videos?

~ ViR

Posted by: VoiceinRecovery | January 4, 2011

Give Light to Dreams: How I See Light & Inspiration Everywhere


Don’t Wait! Start on your dreams, your impulses, your longings, your special occasions today. Because this is your moment.
 ~ Mary Anne Radmacher

I feel so inspired lately. As if the shadows have been parted by some much-needed light. I love illumination moments. I was watching The Tudors and fascinated by the lighting by candles at night. So much has changed, we can literally flip a switch and the light goes on. Time changes how light is delivered, but no matter the source, I find light in darkness to be mesmerizing. I love the contrast, the ability to see the darkness in the background and the light always there to help you see. In life, we are surrounded by many forces of nature, emotions, environments, and all of them are diverse in light, shade, darkness. In order to experience life to the fullest, we must see in all places. In recovery and sobriety I am able to see truly, and experience fully, in darkness and in light, and all those places in between. I can be present and SEE the truth of my feelings

I love night-time. I love walking outside to see the stars, reminded at how small I am in this Universe, and it often puts perspective on how small my problems truly are. I love candle lit bathrooms, dimmed lights in the living room. Most of all of LOVE the night hours. I feel my head is the quietest, I feel inspired, motivated, and truly alive. I have never been a morning person, but the night is MY time. I used to stay up later than everyone, it gave me “me time” where I could be alone with my thoughts. I am most inspired at night, and have recently found inspiration in the day as well.

When I was drinking I couldn’t see anything; when I wasn’t eating and drinking, I couldn’t feel, be present, or aware of my surroundings. I sought to escape reality, and now I seek to embrace life to its absolute fullest. What am I going to be when I grow up? What do I want to do in the next year? What goals do I want to pursue? These are questions that used to paralyze me! I didn’t think I would live to 30 and here I am in my 31st year and truly excited about the possibilities of life, because I am living.

Never give up fighting for recovery, for sobriety, for your fullest life possible!!! Never…..Ever….Give…Up.


I thought things were never going to work out, that I was destined to be a fuck up, destined to be nothing more than a drinker, who would stop eating, all to grasp at the bullshit control I thought I had. I had nothing in my eating disorder, nothing when blacked out on booze. In 3 short years I have gained my life back, while now being able to SEE, FEEL, and experience all the light this world has to offer.

When I was young I knew I was destined for greatness. I saw the building with the word “Entrepreneur” on it, asked what that was, and knew that was what I was going to be. I went on in High School to be the VP of a Business Club DECA and compete locally and nationally. I loved it. I went into college with my major picked out, Business Economics. I knew all of these things were right. When I got out of college, I accepted a job because I thought we were supposed to do the 9-5. It was in accounting and I thought it was a step in the right direction, even though it wasn’t what I truly wanted to do. I love numbers, they make sense, spreadsheets bring out the geek in me, and I love that everything will add up in the end. There isn’t any grey in account. And at that point in my life (ok I still struggle with this today) I loved black and white. A few years into accounting and I knew I hated it. I wasn’t doing what I loved. But I know it was more than that. I was drinking, trying to control my eating, staying in co-dependent relationships, and I wondered why I wasn’t happy. Duh. In the distance I can see this all clearly. I still do accounting, and I can see the pros and cons of the job. I can see black, white, grey, light and dark. I know why I do it, and love the flexibility of it not being a 9-5 job, but I am craving more.

ViR gave me inspiration, motivation, support and guidance. It gave me my recovery and sobriety. It is work I feel is so important and it feeds my soul. Don’t get me wrong, recovery work is hard work, but I know this will be a part of my life going forward. ViR has given my life light.


The pit of my belly is telling me new things are in the horizon. That I just need to be open to the Universe. I want and know I will be an entrepreneur. I am already starting my ViR goals and within two weeks will be able to check off at least one of my professional goals. That feels amazing. Now I want to pursue other entrepreneur paths. I am not sure what that means at this point, but I am ready! I know ViR has a lot of work, and anything I do is entrepreneur in nature, and I am hoping to pursue this path. Who knows! I will work to grow ViR because this is my passion in my life, and for inspiration and motivation I need to be a business person. I hope to not always have to work a job in an office, but for now it is a wonderful opportunity, the work may not always be challenging, but that is why I have ViR and outside interests. I think it is incredible that I have a full resume for my business career and have a full other persona in social media, and they both are powerful and important. I just linked my LinkedIn account to my business, and social media ViR work. That is weird, and unsure how that will go, considering those I work with in the consulting field can see my ViR work.


I am me. I accept me. All of the things in my life I am proud of now. I am ready to embrace all of my ViR social media, blogging, advocacy, and integrate my business side. Because if there is anything I have learned in the last ten years, there are MANY opportunities, in careers that do not exist within the 9-5, one job world. We don’t live in our parents world. I would love to be a writer, speaker, advocate, entrepreneur, life coach, and embrace all those titles eagerly, no matter where they end up.

I determine my destiny. I set the goals in my life. I am capable of all I imagine. I am not afraid of failing, for there is no failing if I learn and grow, and get back up and keep walking. I believe in all of you to live the life you imagine! I hope to show through my life, my words, my ups and downs, that life in recovery is so much more than just recovery. I LIVE. I LOVE. I fight. I dream. I empower. I grow. I fall. I stand back up. Life is dynamic, and recovery after eating disorders and sobriety is worth it. I can not express this enough, life matters.

Do not give up on yourself.

Do not stop dreaming!

Keep fighting for the life you want!

Give light to your dreams every day!


Posted by: VoiceinRecovery | January 3, 2011

10 Lessons to Learn from Fights

I have a big mouth. Huge. I get in trouble a lot due to my emotional responses and escalation in situations with those I love. I define “trouble” as consequences of my actions. Not that someone punishes me. I mean, that the things I say I regret, I feel were mean, and it can lead to days of alone time to think about what I said, and question my abilities to be in a relationship.

All is not lost when we say things we didn’t mean. Relationships are hard, complicated, and dynamic. It may be with our parents, partner, friend, etc. I wanted to give the ten lessons I have learned and continue to work on in my relationship. These tips are for relationships we want to work on, and be in. If you feel that your partner is NOT healthy for you, these are not for you, and that topic is for another post.

1. Take a time out NOW.

The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause” ~ Mark Twain

When you feel a fight is brewing, or anger is brewing in your stomach, your body feels hot, take a step away. Ask to take a time out, time apart, for even a few minutes, or hours. I overreact to a LOT, and often do not do a good job at picking my battles. Taking a time out gives me perspective and distance in seeing the situation more clearly. This can delay a larger argument, give you time to think about the situation. I call this my “Sit in the Fire” place. Where I sit, angry, in a quiet place (usually my closet) and feel all my feelings. When I sit in the fire, my feelings change, my perspective changes, and I end up in a more rational place to figure out how to address the situation, and communicate more effectively.

2. Apologize.

“Apology is a lovely perfume; it can transform the clumsiest moment into a gracious gift” 
~ Margaret Lee Runbeck

When you realize you have made a mistake or said something you regret, say you are sorry. Express why you are sorry, address what was said, and talk it through. An apology is always a good place to start.

3. Listen. Really Listen.

“The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Actively listening to another is very different from listening while preparing a rebuttal for everything said. Active listening has to do with hearing, listening, making eye contact and asking questions if you do not understand. Often in therapy, they had me repeat back what a person said, so any confusion over words would be addressed. I thought this silly, but now I do not think it so. Asking “This is what I heard you say, am I correct?” is a great open listening skill.

4. Never Assume.

“The harder you fight to hold on to specific assumptions, the more likely there’s gold in letting go of them” ~ John See

Never assume you understand what a person is trying to say, their intentions, or reasons. I think asking questions is a HUGE skill to learn from fights, because without jumping to assumptions, we can ask, clarify, and create better open communication just by asking a question. I truly have learned the hard way what “ASSUME” means. It truly as made me an ass at times.

5. Say “I Love You” Often.

When I say, “I love you,” it’s not because I want you or because I can’t have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try, I’ve seen your kindness and your strength. I’ve seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You’re a hell of a woman” ~ Spike to Buffy (Joss Whedon)

I don’t think I say I love you enough to those who truly matter to me. I do make a point every night to say I love you before going to bed. I think most people in relationships will say, they appreciate words of affection. Saying thank you does wonders. Saying you appreciate those you love matters.

6. Show Your Love.

“Right actions in the future are the best apologies for bad actions in the past” ~ Tryon Edwards

Words do matter. But so do actions. Showing affection is something I struggle with. A hug goes a LONG way. I read somewhere “Kindness is love in action.”

7. Don’t Use Money or Power as Weapons of War.

A power struggle collapses when you withdraw your energy from it.
Power struggles become uninteresting to you when you
change your intention from winning to learning about yourself.

~ Gary Zukav & Linda Francis (The Heart of the Soul)

Power struggles never are healthy in relationships. Making more money isn’t a weapon to throw in someones face. I caught myself saying “get out of my house” and this not only hurt my partner, but showed NO respect for him. I regret it, and it was a MEAN comment and weapon to use. I may have “meant” I need space, but I should have said what I needed, versus saying that comment.

8. Know Your Needs. Respect Your Loved One(s) Needs.

We mistakenly assume that if our partners love us they will react and behave in certain ways – the ways we react and behave when we love someone” ~ John Gray

If a person is struggling, what does your loved one need? Often times they just want to be heard. They don’t want to be fixed. On the other side, the person loves you and only wants the best for you. Communicate your needs in the moment, for they are ever-changing. It is important to establish boundaries, be consistent, and vocalize them. We need to know what are needs our and listen to others. I know I need the kitchen and bathroom clean, and as lame as that sounds, it is a need. I know my partner needs to be shown kindness, respect, and consideration. Those are hard for me, but showing those things shows I respect his needs. I want to be in a healthy, balanced and respectful relationship. I want us both to have our needs respected, and heard. Knowing my needs and listening to his will help work towards a common goal.

9. Work To Create a Relationship Together.

“Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exuper

You are a part of a team. Fifty fifty and oh so more. Working together, you show respect towards each-other and your relationship. Support each-others goals, dreams, and passions. Support your own goals, dreams, and passions. Being your own person in a relationship matters. Being in a partnership takes work, two individuals with thoughts, feelings, and needs. All of things requires time, effort to make it work. My guy often says, we need to make sure we know the difference between problems that our outside of our relationship, so we can work together for a solution, versus bringing outside issues into our relationship and making it a problem between us. That was a huge light brought into our relationship, because how many times have we taken out our stress on the ones we love? I know I need to work on asking for things, versus demanding things. It is all in the approach and words.

10. Love Yourself and You Can Better Love Others.

To grow in our ability to love ourselves we need to receive love as well.” ~ John Gray

When we can respect ourselves, and show self-care, love towards our being, we are better able to provide that to others. Making yourself a priority in life will teach you self-love and awareness, better able to learn your boundaries, and able to vocalize them. I NEED self-care and love, because when I take care of ME I am better able to care for others. Self care and love rejuvenates me, and feeds my soul; it puts me in a healthier space, more sane, and less irritated with the little things.

The purpose of relationship
is not to have another who might complete you,
 but to have another with whom
 you might share your completeness.
”~ Neale Donald Walsch

Posted by: VoiceinRecovery | January 1, 2011

2011 Goals

I don’t do resolutions, mainly because I find them promoted in the media as restrictions, or changes to our body, who we are, and don’t address long-term plans. Mainly I do not find the idea of making unrealistic expectations on ourselves as positive. I like to find the positives in what I do, and like to make goals and plans. I love mini goals, intentions, and planning. I am a big picture type of gal who loves to see where I have come from, live in the moment, plan BIG and work hard towards goals. So this is a list, both filled with huge goals, and mini daily intentions. Because I need both to keep inspired, motivated, and hopeful.

Personal:

  • Quiet the Should Monster
  • Blog more regularly
  • Accept myself and my needs
  • Forgive myself for mistakes made
  • Practice kindness towards those I love
  • Work on emotional regulation
  • Make nutrition, exercise, and health a focus in daily life
  • Reach out to those who support me when I need help or guidance
  • Stop putting so much pressure on myself to do everything
  • Get new tattoos (yes more than 1!)
  • Be nice to me, my body, my spirit
  • Take more photography classes
  • Make jewelry
  • Find a pilates studio

Personal Empowerment, Motivation, Inspiration & Hope:

  • Provide inspiration, hope, and support to #RecoveryWarriors
  • Continue to grow as a mentor
  • Seek personal empowerment
  • Find motivation in all I do
  • Flexibility in ALL areas of life
  • Create vision boards when I need inspiration or guidance
  • Focus on chakra balances
  • Take classes of interest, on ANY topic because learning is a priority in my life
  • Read more books
  • Get more sleep
  • Take more breaks from social media

Professional:

  • Set up ViR as a business
  • Set up ViR website
  • Create logo for ViR
  • Begin to create products for ViR
  • Enroll in Life Coaching classes
  • Start speaking engagements for ViR
  • Start a book
  • Create ViR support groups, whether in chat, on twitter, or in person
  • Entrepreneurship – lots of thoughts on this. More to come…

Ten 2011 ViR Hopes for the New Year for ViR #RecoveryWarriors, Carers, and Supporters:

  • LOVE & ACCEPT who you are; Be true to YOU; Embrace your individual BEAUTY


  • Honor your body, mind in spirit – eat well, exercise, read more, sleep more, and breathe through it all!

  • Find motivation, inspiration, and hope in all you do

  • Write down and express your gratitudes


  • Set daily intentions

  • Never give up on your dreams! No goal/dream/passion is too big to ask the Universe for guidance!

  • Be patient with progress! All progress, not matter how small matters! No slip will erase the progress you have made, get back up and start walking

  • Seek balance and moderation – life is about balance & living, not restriction

  • Quiet your inner Should Monster, inner tyrant, ED voice who says you aren’t enough, don’t deserve a full life, and empower your inner ROCKSTAR!!


  • Set Time for FUN!


Posted by: VoiceinRecovery | December 23, 2010

Accountability

Written by ViR: Dolores Schwartz (@GettinFit_Bah_D)

Blog: http://myinnermuse.wordpress.com/

I started a blog post (five in fact) And it wasn’t jiving with me.  I even had a case of writers block…

Talking about recovering from bulimia is hard…  But, I want it to talk about it…  I want people to know about the harm, bulimia has on the body both physically and mentally.

Then, today I saw a tweet about New Years Resolutions. The light went off!!  Like most people I make them, and like most people I never keep them. (Then you have those that just don’t make them at all… And that’s ok too! I’ve had years like that!)

Except last year.

I kept every single last one of them!

I resolved to become accountable!!

I got healthy!

I allowed myself to make mistakes!

I allowed myself to be human!

I went back myself loving myself!!

In 2009 I almost died from what was supposed to be a “simple procedure”,  I am 34 and I had to get a partial hysterectomy. It was far from simple,  I walked away with; Pulmonary emboli, a stay in ICU, two weeks in the hospital, two pints of blood later …  Not to mention my year recovery process,  oh and then the domino effect it had on my health.  I went back into the hospital a month later to be diagnosed with pusedo tumor cerebri.  (Say that fast five times! Ha)  Oh, I am just warming up!

That’s when I was told, “if you lose weight it will help your condition” I died inside. I thought about all the abuse I had ever done to my body.

All those years of laxatives, bingeing and purging, diuretics… I needed to make serious changes! I couldn’t live like this.. My body still needed to heal.

My soul…

My mind…

Finally.

Healed.

I got out of the hospital with another round of meds on Dec 31…

Where I made this promise to myself.  “To get healthy once and for all!!

Once I was cleared of all the blood clots I was going to make a call to my friend a personal trainer (I needed that push.. And that’s ok to admit that! That was my accountability factor…  She was saving my life without even knowing it!)  and I was going to forever abandon my old ways… I was going to be in “control”…!!

I took control over my life…!  Did I have triggers – absolutely!  Everyday!  But, I had to abandon my old ways…  If I wanted to live healthy!  That was my goal!

How did I do it?

I was accountable! That’s all!! And when I would start to think about reaching for a laxative or binging… I would think about how far I’d come and how proud I was of the person I was becoming.

I make it sound easy!  It’s not.  It’s a long hard road.  I am not going to sugar coat.  You never know what your tomorrow holds.  So, cherish each day! Respect your body!

One day you will need it to be strong!



Posted by: VoiceinRecovery | December 22, 2010

10 Holiday Sanity Tips


1. Listen to your body

Ok I am the first to recognize I usually notice my body is stressed when I get a migraine. My neck gets tight, my shoulders in pain, and I feel a stabbing going to my head. Especially during the Holidays, we want to do everything, get everything done, and often in the hustle and bustle forget to pay attention to the body signals. Schedule a body check in through the day. Ask what your body is feeling, how it is talking to you, and make a conscious effort to respect its needs.

2. Self care is a HAVE to not a CAN do

I have to take self-care on a daily basis. Whether it is for five minutes or a half an hour, I have to find a way to take care of me. I have to say lately, a trip to Target to run errands, or do a load of laundry, honestly is self-care. Every day it is different, based on my needs, and time limitations. Make self-care a priority in your day, something to be scheduled, and not pushed aside. ME time is not wasted time.

3. Let Go of Doing it ALL

I cannot do it all. I don’t even think I can do a few small things sometimes. With a new puppy, my life is chaotic. I barely have time to breathe. Write a list, think about priorities, and do what you can and let the rest go. It will be there to handle when it is time. We also are allowed to relax, to be lazy, to sit and just have quiet time. We can tell the should monster to shut up.

4. Lists

My mom would laugh at me now, since I would laugh at her growing up, with her lists, her Tupperware, and things to make life easier. Well now I get it. Lists help organize my day, my work, and help me feel more productive and organized. Take a few moments to write a list of your daily to-do’s and when you complete them, cross them off, buy some gold stickers if you like and enjoy finishing even little tasks!

5. Turn OFF the Crackberry (or laptop, or iPhone, or TV)

I know I didn’t have my phone for a day and thought I would panic! After a few hours it was nice not to feel like I had to check this, or that, and was present with the people around me. Take time to separate work from play. Disconnect from everything. Take time to be present with your family. I do NOT allow the laptop in my room. I also put my iPhone into my purse when I eat out at dinner with family. Over the Holidays, to be present, turn everything off. I

6. Write a Quick Grateful List

I know when I am struggling, a list of things I am grateful for, and I feel so much better because it gives me a new perspective to view things, and shifts my internal energy from focusing on the negative, to focusing on all I have. Take five minutes to quickly jot down everything you are grateful for on a daily basis. See what effect it has in a few days on your perspective.

7. Set a Daily Intention

Before I leave the house I set a daily intention. Sometimes it is simply to remember to breathe, do just one thing at a time, or think before I speak. Sometimes my intentions change throughout the day. I do this to help keep me mindful on where I want my day to go, and helps me plan how to approach my day. An intention gives direction to our day. Set an intention (purpose/plan) for your day in the morning, before you leave the house, write it down, carry it with you, check in during the day on how your day is going.

8. Mindful Eating

I know it is a hard time for those in recovery, and those currently still struggling. I also know a lot of people fall into the disordered eating pattern around the Holidays. I want you to know the Holidays don’t have to be about restriction, it can be one of balance, moderation, and self-love. Holiday eating being mindful can make the holidays wonderful! To taste, enjoy, savor, experience & be present. It is also important to allow lessons to be learned. If you catch yourself mindless in eating, be forgiving & kind! Not cruel to yourself.

Mindful eating includes balance, enjoying foods. Recognizing food isn’t good/bad, or punishment or gifts. Be mindful of thoughts about food. I do not see Holiday eating as on or off track. I stay mindful, eat what I want ALL in moderation. I also think cooking has been a huge part of my recovery & learning to eat mindfully, savor, smell & connect again with ALL my sense.

Pay attention to your body. It also helps to have support, someone you can call, remember to take breaks, be at your OWN pace. No need to eat at anyone else’s speed. Learn to ask yourself and recognize HALT: are you Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired? Pay attention to your signals & what you are feeling. Ask whether you are truly hungry. In the end, practice patience with yourself! Every day is different, and your body will tell you what it needs; and if your body isn’t telling you what it needs, or you are having an off day, find a meal schedule to stick to, eat every few hours. To be mindful of YOUR eating experience, you need to be LESS mindful & comparing to others. Focus on what is right for you. No one else.

9. Stress Outlet

I know when I am stressed I tend to become snippy, tired, say things I don’t mean, or shut down completely. I also know there are things that help. A truly effective stress reliever is exercise, studies have shown this over and over, it is a natural mood booster. Even a five-minute walk helps me. Pilates, yoga, running, stretching, beading, artwork are all examples of stress outlets we can utilize. I even sometimes like to text someone, just to say I am losing my mind! Just to be heard by a friend when I feel a bit crazed. I also think having a safe place to visualize can help. I often imagine myself at the beach, and experience all there is, in sounds, smells, sights, colors, feelings, etc. Create a list of healthy coping skills that you can pull out when stressed, especially since in the moment of stress you may not remember anything can help, so having a list to pull out as a tool can help guide you.

10. Remember what the Holidays are About

I have been searching the internet for the last week in a PANIC that I am a bad daughter for not having gifts for my parents. My parents said I didn’t have to get anything for them, that there was no reason to spend money, and yet the guilt has been a big nagging in my brain. I KNOW the holidays are about family, love, time, memories and experiences, but somehow my brain loves to tell myself that I need to spend something to buy some “thing” to show them. For this one, I had to stop looking online, because it took time from my partner, my puppy, and let go. One could say I took all the tips I laid out in this post and applied it to remind myself what the Holidays mean to me. For me it is a time of reflection. A year-end, a new year, a journey through time, and experiences. It is about saying out loud to all those I love how grateful I am. It is about recognizing the self journey I am on and giving myself kudos for all jobs (small and large) well done.

What do the Holidays mean to you? What is most important?


Posted by: VoiceinRecovery | December 20, 2010

Finding Hope and Balance in the Holidays

Written by: Aimée Lévesque

The keywords in the title might as well have been arranged this way instead:

Hoping to Find the Balance (the weight-scale, in French) in the Holidays

In fact, the last couple of times I went back to my family’s house during the Holidays, and to daily life with them, I found myself thinking and acting (mostly reacting) just like the teenager I was a couple of years ago. A sick teenager, I might add. As if I had not changed at all since then. As if I had not recovered at all. As if I just wanted to blow it all up.

Yes, I acknowledge that there is still a part of me that does not want to recover. This part of me is a very obstinate little girl. She just wants to do it her way. Usually I just let her do what she wants until she gets tired of the game and realizes that what she had before is exactly what she wants so badly.

But the Holidays are particularly threatening, because I am destabilized by them. I am afraid of what will come out if I let my little girl fool around. (You know, I am very good at making something I am afraid of happen, so that I make myself right in fearing it.)

But you know what? Knowing this, and fearing this, makes me strong, actually. Because this exact fear will help me stay vigilant. Before I go back to this same house where the restrictive and compulsive eating started, I will be able to take time to think about what I did in the past Holidays, and what I don’t want to do during the coming Holidays. The word want is important to me: my little girl would obviously not like it if I had used have to instead; she would rebel instantaneously. And that would instantaneously bring me to the closet where the scale is – or to any other behaviour that is not healthy for me.

In short, this fear of the Holidays means I an aware. Aware of the danger. Aware of the steps I have taken so far on the recovery path. Aware of the love my family have for me. Aware that the Holidays are a time for loving and sharing, not for fighting (with food, with my body and mind, with others), and definitely not for cutting myself off from others. Nor from myself and my true needs.

This year, I will not be home for the Holidays. I am abroad, preparing for my homecoming in January, and taking this opportunity to visit friends and former host families. It is in some way a relief from the fear of relapsing again during time spent with my family, but being away from them is also (and mostly) a source of sadness.

With distance comes hindsight. And hindsight makes me realize what is important for me. Love. Affection. Laughter. Smiles. Balance. And not: scales, numbers, hate; not even food, in fact.

So where is the balance? I don’t know; anyway, I don’t want this scaly thing at home anymore. Instead, I will look for balance, and know that even if I end up doing things that (I think) are unhealthy for me, it is still recovery. Recovery is a forgiving path, because it considers everything as part of the process, once it has started.

That might as well be a definition of life, don’t you think?

Then, considering all this, why would I not be full of hope before the Holidays? Because I know that I will be learning, somehow.

Aimée Lévesque

Twitter: @meme_aimee

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