Thursday, April 10, 2014

Perspective

The other day, I found the image I posted below among a bunch of old photos, mostly of my dad and some famous physicists he met at various times during his career. I got a little choked up seeing this one, because it made me realize how distorted my self image was even at that young age. I doubt that anyone looking at that photo would say, "OMG, you were so fat!" but I sure felt it. And it's unreal how relentlessly I was teased by my peers for being "fat." Shit. The names I was called were terrible.

It's also a touching image, because I so rarely smiled for the camera.


Left to right: Lize, Alex and Annie.
It's interesting how I took what others said and, because it was said over and over, incorporated it into my belief system. Whether our beliefs come from society, peers and family members or from other sources, they can feel very real. I had to teach myself that feeling fat isn't the same as being fat, and anyone with an eating disorder understands that what we see in the mirror isn't always a true reflection of how we look. Our minds can distort.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

It Happened Again

Another company mocked someone by using an image of a man, Ernest Gagnon, who, through his cycling and diet efforts, has lost over 200 pounds. The man's image was used without his consent in an ad by a company called Boombotix, so the company is lucky the guy didn't turn around and sue them.

Here's Ernest's original story on NPR:
http://www.npr.org/2012/10/09/162586325/instead-of-surgery-man-pedals-off-the-pounds

And here's the ad that was reposted by Boombotix on facebook. I got this from Ernest's facebook page:




Unlike Self magazine, though, this company is trying to do the right thing after their mistake and, rather than offer a phony apology, the CEO both publicly and privately issued a sincere one, took responsibility, Made a donation, got involved and made sure that everyone knew he and the people in his company were doing all they could to support Ernest. He also admitted that something like this shouldn't have happened in the first place. He's right. Publicly mocking people is wrong. There's no question about it, but, as I mentioned in a previous post, it seems to happen a lot these days.

Below is the CEO's response, and he went on to say that the company would do all they could to offer Ernest sponsorship money for traveling and competing in his bike races. That's a step in the right direction.

Hey guys, on behalf of Boombotix, I would like to personally apologize for this. This ad has been removed and the designer behind this campaign has been sternly reprimanded. As the CEO, I was truly disgusted when I saw this ad and I'm sorry that you guys had see it. We will take this misstep and certainly learn from it.

Occasionally, action can be taken to help rectify a wrong. Still, the hurt will probably linger. It's not really true that saying about sticks and stones. Words do hurt, and the hurt lasts. Let's hope that companies are starting to become more aware of the backlash that occurs when efforts are made to belittle and ridicule others.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Regrouping

I took two weeks off from doing much of anything. Even my writing was almost entirely on hold. Since the pneumonia or whatever it was is finally coming to and end, and I'm finally done taking the antibiotics, I thought I would get back into doing more than just sit on my ass.

To celebrate feeling better, I went for a little hike/jog this weekend and promptly fell on my face. That was fun. It was one of those moments that reinforced that I really need to stop trying to please everyone. See, this lady was waiting for me to pass her before going through a narrow part of the trail, and this guy was coming up from the other side, about to pass me, which was dumb, as I was going faster and would have had to pass him right back. Instead of going around when I realized I was heading toward the sketchy part of the trail, I tried to hurry and decided to take a teeny leap to the lower trail, which is more stable, in theory anyway. The upper trail I was on is pretty rocky and a mess since the flood.

This would have worked had the city not just poured a huge pile of pebbles on the trail. When I landed on the lower trail, I went down so hard and fast, I didn't even have time to respond. It was just BOOM, on the ground after the pebbles gave way. I smacked my entire right side including the area near my temporal bone pretty hard, and the guy in back of me STILL tried to pass me while I was down. Nice guy. At least the lady was kind and asked if I was OK. I am now very back and blue, but at least the swelling is down. The soreness keeps reaching new levels, though. I'm just glad I didn't completely wreck myself with this one. Jeez. Just call me Grace.

A nice surprise came my way when I got an offer to write a guest blog post. I will save the details until it's actually available to readers, and then I'll post the link. It's interesting, because I also just applied to give one of those TedxBoulder talks, so the post sort of rolled right out of me after weeks of writer's block. It felt good, and the topic I chose is exactly what I will address if I'm given the opportunity to speak. I won't find out about the selections until late summer.

I hate to put it this way because it sounds like something a typical Boulderite would say, but the universe is handing me a lot of lessons lately. What I mean is that through all these challenging situations I'm facing lately, I'm forced to keep my head. I can't manage other people's shitty behavior or ignore my health issues, so I'm having to quiet my overly active thoughts and not take what is beyond my control out on myself.

I need summer to arrive ASAP. I always do better in warmer weather. Right now, I pretty much feel like sleeping forever.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Tutu Affair

Recently, Self Magazine came out with a shady and misleading way to get women to submit images of themselves running in tutus, so the magazine could turn around and mock them.

I've never liked Self magazine. It's filled with nothing but images of women who fit an extremely narrowly defined idea of what beauty is. In other words, it's nothing but excessively skinny, airbrushed models, unless the rag is mocking someone, of course. You will find diet tips; more diet tips; exercise routines, so you can look like the models on the pages; and ads, tons of ads for weight-loss supplements, exactly what you would find in any other shit publication that lacks integrity and substance.

This little scheme they pulled got people up in arms. It's not just that they mocked women, it's that one of the women they mocked, Monika Allen, proudly sent in her image thinking this might be for an article or column about empowering women. After all, she was wearing the outfit to raise money for Girls on The Run and expressing herself after battling brain cancer.

Nope, it was strictly to put these women down and make fun of them, despite the fact these tutu-wearing women were completing marathons and races and accomplishing whatever goals they had set for themselves. Nice move, Self!

Self Magazine made a lame apology. One of the best comments by a former reader stated something along the lines of: The magazine must be burning a ton of calories backpedaling that fast! The only good thing that came out of this shameful behavior by the publication is that people united in protecting and defending not just Monika's right to wear whatever the fuck she wants in a marathon but everyone's right to do so.

I don't think I can express how angry and upset I am that shit like this even happens, but, sadly, we have largely become a society of haters, bashers, complainers and takers, especially in the media. As upset as I and many others are, I can't say I'm all that surprised.

Tonia Smith, a beautiful woman battling cancer herself, addressed what happened in this blog post. I don't think anyone could state it better: The Tutu Controversy 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

How Do You Sleep?


I often wonder why people who are generally shitty sleep so soundly, while those of use who worry and fret about doing the right thing often long for but can't seem to catch those comforting Z's at night. I guess when you don't consider anyone else but yourself in life, nothing really matters, and your brain doesn't get filled with any complicated thoughts, no guilt, shame, remorse or consideration, nope. You want, so you take. It doesn't matter who you hurt, because you don't give enough of a fuck to attempt to put yourself in anyone else's shoes. Why should you? Your world is too narrowly defined to consider how another person's shoes might pinch, not that you could face that or anyone anyway. More and more, this seems to be the way of the world.

I've been as sick as anyone could imagine lately. I seem to have some kind of pneumonia or related respiratory ailment, and the endometriosis is kicking my ass again, despite the IUD. I just heard that there's a big controversy involving the head of Hobby Lobby who doesn't want his company's health insurance to cover birth control. I wish I could inflict endo on all these fuckheads who are too idiotic to realize that sometimes birth control is more about a medical procedure than family planning. Unlike something like, oh I don't know...Viagra, going on the pill or getting an IUD can help treat conditions like mine. In theory anyway.

Actually, I'm one of the few who hasn't adjusted well to this treatment. Normally, the success rate is good for some improvement. So far, all I have noticed are bigger boobs and more cramps. I'm still bleeding like a scene out of a fucking horror film. Actually, it's not quite as bad as it was, but my uterus has been spitting out red for over two months straight now.

So that's my update. My life has become pretty much nothing but sleep (when I can), food, meds, Dexter, work and pooping. I'm keeping it simple. Plus, I don't really feel like doing much else. I've even given up writing for now. Maybe some ice cream and an episode of Cosmos might lift my spirits a little tonight.

3/23/14

Monday, March 10, 2014

Endometriosis Awareness Month

March is endometriosis awareness month.
In my last post/rant I mentioned endometriosis. This month is endometriosis awareness month, so I thought I would take the opportunity to talk a little bit about the condition.

Lately, it has been a struggle to keep a positive outlook on things. In general, I should consider myself very lucky, because I know many women who have endometriosis are much worse off than I am. At the same time, I'm hurting, a lot. So far, it has been some kind of Sophie's choice between the treatment, which causes all kinds of cramping and side effects, and the condition itself. It's really hard to know what course of action to take.

It's always strange when something unexpected leaves you wondering how you will manage from that point forward. Will the bleeding stop? Will the terrible pain and cramping abate? How will the medical bills get paid? What's the right approach to treat this condition?

The one good thing is that I have some amazing support in my life right now. That makes even my worst days more tolerable.

I always say that nothing will be as bad as going through the hell of anorexia or experiencing the meningitis episodes, but that doesn't mean I no longer face hard times. I'm not going to turn this post into a whiny, complaining rant. There are others who have endometriosis who are suffering much more than I am. I do want to raise awareness about this condition, though.

Below are some links:

Endometriosis Explained:
http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/endometriosis.html

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/endometriosis/basics/definition/con-20013968

Support:
http://endometriosis.org/support/support-groups/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/EndometriosisAngelGateway/

United States Suicide prevention hotlines:


I have to say that I called a local suicide hotline once on behalf of a friend and the lady who answered told me that they were busy and asked me to call back later. Unbelievable, right? Well, I assume national hotlines are not like that. I hope not anyway. Still, one should reach out when feeling suicidal, no matter what the cause. 


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

I got WAY off track and went on a full blow unnecessary ultra-long rant. Then I remembered it's National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, so I scaled back some of the excessive complaining in my initial tirade. That way the focus could be at least a little bit more on recovery. That said, I still felt the need to vent, so the following is a little bit disjointed. Read at your own risk, and if you do, pay attention to the very bottom.
 
Movement, something I have needed and craved, has become more difficult for me lately. More specifically, running hurts, and running was something that always helped me turn inward, away from all the daily bullshit, and feel at least somewhat more grounded and comfortable in my own skin. Without it, I'm feeling lost, but I'm working on finding other avenues that help me feel OK in the world. Oddly enough, immersing myself in the culinary world in an observing position is igniting some fire in me that has been dormant for a long, long time. I'm finding my own passion through the passion and dedication of others, especially chefs, cheese makers and chocolatiers.

What's nice is that the other blog posts I do for Front Range Reviews are not about me. That allows me to step outside myself and focus on something else. No drama, no worries, no distrust or fear, just getting lost in the moment by writing about something interesting.

Then again, it can be cathartic to reflect on matters closer to home. Venting can bring about some relief.

I actually have at least some good news on the injury front. Though the tendinitis in both hamstrings is still there, the labrum tears in both hips are still an issue and both feet have their problems, I have been able to do at least a little bit of jogging, which is better than it was for a long time. The real issue is the endometriosis, but I will go into more detail about that in a different post.

Because it's National Eating Disorders Awareness Month, I want to address the supposedly changing standard of beauty, which really isn't changing all that much or isn't changing fast enough. Part of the problem lately is that everyone feels the need to be a critic. I don't mean that people observe or make comments based on these observations, I mean that people are really into ripping each other apart. It's like humans enjoy cutting others down, and those who don't do it like watching or reading about others doing it. Instead of offering valid advice or simple reviews, critics seem to get off bashing people and ripping apart anyone who doesn't fit a certain mold.

Because of this, it seems some people are pushed to go to drastic measures to try to fit into a very narrow beauty ideal. What's odd is that I can't imagine that others find those who have undergone extreme surgeries or overdone it on fillers and implants all that beautiful. I keep wondering why so many people are driven to carve themselves up when the end result is that they look like a caricature. But in many situations, you're damned if you do, damned if you don't, because people will criticize one way or another.

So often I just want to ask, "Who the fuck are you?" to the fashion police, bloggers, the media and random people who have to toss what they think about others into the conversation. Who the fuck are you to judge anyone? The more I watch how people behave, the more disgusted I am with the way the world is. I know there are exceptions, sure, but there's an overall trend of people being thoughtless, nasty fucks that doesn't sit well with me. No wonder everyone is so neurotic. It's rare to feel supported in life anymore. It rare to trust people, and it's rare to not feel that all critical eyes are upon you.

People can be so full of themselves. It's shocking to me. Where is all this ego coming from? What makes anyone think they are in a position to criticize anyone else, and what makes anyone think they are better than anyone else?

I know when people get overly judgmental or have sham confidence, it usually stems from an underlying insecurity. But people are so often self absorbed, demanding of attention and downright mean these days. Sometimes I just want to live my life entirely away from all but a handful of people, just unplug completely and go about life as if computers, t.v. and other sources of media didn't exist. I'm convinced that the internet has made selfishness and criticism a worsening problem. Just look at this video of a girl tearing apart a Dunkin' Donuts employee for no good reason. Does it seem like this type of shit is occurring more frequently? I think it is. And who the fuck is she anyway?

Just knowing how belittling people can be is enough to cause anyone with an ounce of sensitivity to worry. Those of us who are already overly self-critical can easily get distracted by what others say.

So here I am being the critic's critic.

In terms of recovery, I think it would be difficult to do so the way things are now, where everyone is seemingly watching everyone else. Everyone assumes they are in the spotlight too, even if that spotlight is no more than a flicker of light. I had the luxury of limiting my contacts when I jumped into recovery, and that helped me steer clear of too much negative feedback and prevented me from being exposed to too many potentially triggering statements. On the other hand, it can be nice to connect with others who are going through something similar in online support groups, so maybe the internet isn't all bad. I guess you just have to be careful about how involved you get in online antics and know that your actions and words can affect others.

My other caution relating to recovery is getting distracted by people who insist, "You should try it!"

I get that a lot here in Boulder and on facebook, everyone promoting a certain diet from raw foods, clean eating or vegan diets to Atkins or the newly popular Keto diet, everyone's pushing something. I think it's fine when people try something and discover it works for them. It's even fine when they want to share, but for people who have eating disorders, pushing them too much to try a new diet is almost certain to be a bad move. 

Leading by example is OK, but it's important to keep in mind that insisting that someone in recovery try this or that diet can be triggering. Most of us who have struggled or are still struggling are overly self-critical, and we don't need someone telling us what we should or shouldn't eat. Hell, many people have a hard enough time putting food in their mouths, so they don't need to be put down for eating a certain kind of food. You can eat your bacon-wrapped steaks slathered in butter, but don't force it on anyone else. And if you want to munch on raw carrot sticks for dinner, that's fine as long as you don't insist that if I do the same, it will make me feel better and eliminate all my problems. 

The bottom line is that recovery takes courage. You have to filter out all the crap that others spew and focus on anything and everything that keeps you heading in a positive, healthy direction. There are plenty of people around who have overcome eating disorders who can tell you that a full recovery is possible, and if you look for it, you can find the right kind of support from others.

I had to copy this from Carmen Cool who is leading the way in body acceptance and social reform:

It’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. 

It was 26 years ago that I went into treatment for bulimia.


It was 9 years ago that my sister died from anorexia. 

This is what I know for sure:


Eating Disorders can be deadly. 

Full recovery is entirely possible. 


We all deserve to feel at peace with our bodies and with food.



Keep fighting. Change is possible.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Where Am I?

I know I made some promises about being better about blogging. The truth is that I find it painful to post anymore. I've been trying to hang in there. Actually, considering all that's going on, I've been doing an OK job of it. I'm dealing with a lot at the moment, but, as people often tell me, things could be worse.

The good news is that I can walk without too much pain, and I can even sort of jog a little. The better news is that I'm somehow not completely imploding. I have bad moments, but so does everyone else.

As a wonderful distraction, I started blogging at Front Range Reviews. I do most of the chocolate and all the cheese reviews.

You can check out the blogs here:
http://sexandchocolateshow.blogspot.com/

and here:

http://saycheesereview.blogspot.com/

Friday, December 27, 2013

Honesty 2.0

I wrote a post on honesty as it relates to recovery at one point. Here's the link: http://trainingonempty.blogspot.com/2012/06/honesty.html

I'm revisiting this issue in a different way, because I'm starting to realize that the world is made up of all kinds of people, both honest and dishonest. When I was younger, I always assumed that everyone wanted the world to be a better place with everyone getting along, a world in which people would strive to do the right thing and be real. Obviously that's not the case. Whether people lie for selfish reasons or are sick and can't control it, lies, unfortunately, occur all over the place. Of course, some of the reasons why people lie are more understandable than others.

When it comes to being embarrassed about addictions or behaviors, lying makes at least some kind of sense, or when someone lies in an effort to avoid hurting another person, most people can understand it, even though it's not exactly appropriate or just. I have to admit that I don't get why people are dishonest for selfish purposes, especially when the untruths are so easily exposed as such. Don't they feel icky when they engage in this kind of behavior? Don't they have trouble sleeping at night?

What I find baffling is when someone is caught in a lie and, instead of acknowledging it, sticks to the story, sometimes getting deeper into the dishonesty hole by creating new stories in an attempt to cover or support the first one. Either that or the person clings to the lie, insisting it's true when all evidence points in the opposite direction. Of course, there are those who simply ignore the topic when it's brought to their attention that you know they're not being above board.

People lie about dumb little things too. Recently someone told me about a song being on a certain playlist in 2005, long before the song was even out. Why lie about that? First, it's so easily proven wrong, and second, it's so trivial. I struggle to understand the motivation behind those kinds of lies. My mom insists it's insecurity on the part of the liar. She could be right, or maybe it could be the opposite, someone with too much of an ego to make an effort to do and say the right thing.

I should clarify that I'm not talking about two people seeing a situation differently. It's not about feelings that change or situations that evolve into something new. There are times when new information is brought into light, and a person can see things in a new way. These cases have nothing to do with outright lying. Withholding information and keeping secrets can mean you're slipping into the gray area, but how hurtful those errors in honesty can be to yourself or others is based on the situation.

Brutal honesty with yourself can be tricky matter. If you have to question it, you are probably on a dangerous slope. Usually you know you're either over the line or not, but sometimes it's not so cut and dry. I occasionally catch myself when it comes to my OCD behavior, and I generally know when I'm not being true to myself. Other times I'm not so sure, as training is supposed to be healthy, and I can easily get caught up in what I "should" do instead of what my body can handle.

With so much dishonesty in the world, it's hard to learn to trust, but there are people who aim to be above board. The key is to avoid those who can't resist manipulating the truth and surround yourself with people who aim to be authentic and real. It helps to remain honest when you are among others who are too.

I come back to this idea that it takes honesty to recover from an addiction. More than that, being honest is just a better way to operate in the world. We have so little in terms of knowing about others, so when someone lies, it creates unnecessary distance between individuals and lasting distrust and animosity. It shakes others and unfairly puts another person's reality in question.

I love this concept taken from the Goldfinch, a book I have yet to read. The quote isn't exact, but the idea is there:  "It's not about outward appearances; it's about inward significance." 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Whoops

I have let this blog slide. It has been forever since my last post, but I have had a brain full of swimming thoughts. It usually doesn't make for a good blog post when I sit down to write in that state.

The other day I ran into one of my old running buddies. We reminisced about our group and how much we missed being a part of it. It was a great core group of about five or six people with others who joined later. We ran with Bobby McGee, and, while I wasn't at my fittest, I was definitely making strides toward some kind of comeback.

As it turns out, the woman I bumped into had the same injury the doctors think I have, though mine is less catastrophic.  Her injury was severe, one of the worst cases anyone could imagine. It was so bad, in fact, that one doctor refused to operate. As a result, the surgery he did eventually get was not the usual arthroscopic procedure. Her recovery was complicated and long, but she is running again. It sort of gave me some hope, even though I now have additional foot issues that require attention.

So far, the diagnoses are:

  • labral tears in both hips with a very slight stress reaction on the right side.
  • Tendonitis in both upper hanstrings.
  • A very slight instability in the foot where the surgery was.
  • A slipped tendon and stressed plantar plate on my second toe in the right foot.

For right now, I'm just in a holding pattern, seeing which of these need more attention and which will work themselves out over time. I did get a shot of cortisone in one hip, mostly for diagnostic reasons. It was basically a Sophie's choice, as I could only get one shot. The doc basically said, "Pick a side." I picked the left, as the pain was more intense, even though the right showed more drastic tearing. If the pain is still there at the end of the month, that means it's more the tears that are limiting. The tendonitis pain was so sharp that I didn't even notice the groin pain until I got the cortisone shot.

Today I ran into another one of my running partners and was reminded of how much I miss running, especially with friends. She has been through a lot, and, despite her struggles, recently popped out a 3:40 marathon. She's 56 and was recently diagnosed with epilepsy. I cried after giving her a hug goodbye. I can't even begin to explain how much I miss running, and I can't remember the last time I ran without pain.   

The hormonal situation is better but not quite normal. I thought it was odd that my sports medicine doctor suggested I see a gynecologist after looking at my MRI. I guess he could see where a cyst has ruptured and some other issues simply by looking at the imaging. Weird.

I know this isn't the most uplifting post I have created, but, if nothing else, I am in good hands with my PT and the doctors, and I'm getting answers, even if they aren't necessarily the ones I wanted. The reality is that my PT is pretty fucking amazing. I just wish I could get to the point where I could do more actual PT. The process of getting a diagnosis can be long and painful. 

At some point, I want to create a full post about denial and how difficult is is for some people to admit they have a problem. Recently, someone pointed out an article about a guy who appeared to have a full-blown eating disorder. He claimed that he didn't have an eating disorder, but that his eating was disordered. That's like an alcoholic saying, "I'm not an alcoholic; I just can't control myself when I continually drink to the point of passing out and causing all kinds of damage." It reminded me of a lady who was open about her bulimia and mentioned that she just throws up a little bit, as if that's OK. She seemed to think she could control it if she wanted, but, because of the stress in her life she "needed" to do it. It helped her stay calm or something. Her rationalizing about the harmful behavior not being a problem demonstrated how easily people can fool themselves.

I catch myself with the OCD behaviors at times, so I have to constantly ask myself if what I'm doing is out of habit or if what I'm doing is to reach goals and/or be healthy. Sometimes that line can get blurred, but there are definite behaviors that we all know are crossing into that addiction area.

I will have to go into this more thoroughly at some point. I know I keep saying that I will be better about posting, and I hope to do that in the new year.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Decisions

I'm still here. I've immersed myself deeply into the world of chocolate, and I'm not sure I want to resurface.

I'm also in my head, a place that causes me to engage less in the real world. It's easy to get caught up in thoughts and lose that feeling of being grounded.

I don't like change, yet I crave it. I'm sure I'm not alone. When I jump into the deep end after being afraid to do so, it's often not as bad as I thought it would be. If the water's too cold, I can always get out, right? When it comes to injuries, it's not as simple. Jumping in means accepting, not fighting and facing the fears that come with switching gears. I know I "should" go to the pool, but I hate it. I just fucking hate it, unless I don't have to do it and have the extra time, money and motivation. I know I don't have to do anything, but I know I feel better if I can do some exercise.

My body feels so wrecked. Christ. One limp always leads to another issue, and the spiral continues. I did get to run on the AlterG treadmill. After 10 minutes, my right knee felt all tweaked. It's minor, but I'm staying off it, just to be safe. I see the specialist Monday for the main injury. I know any new twinge or pain is related to all these imbalances caused by the foot surgery, years of limping and now the other literal pain the the ass injury.

It feels like the two sides of my body are from different people. You know those Barbie dolls that have parts that can be pulled off? OK, maybe I was the only one who was destructive with her toys as a kid, but you can pull the legs off dolls and sometimes put them back together again. My body feels like a doll with a different doll's parts on one side. Actually, I feel more like my body has been run over by a car.

I keep getting close to losing all hope of ever really running again. Right now, I'm more concerned with getting to the point where everything doesn't hurt. I want to be able to walk without feeling so out of whack. But I miss my sport. I'm guessing I won't ever race again, but I have a little bit of hope left that I might jog again. God, I hope I can.

Sometimes moving on is as simple as making a decision. You can go down that familiar road, that miserable, painful road that, at times, looks so appealing and comfortable but is so fucking bad for you, or you can opt to change directions and explore new territory. The latter is scary, but the former will destroy you. Of course the road isn't necessarily smooth once that decision has been made, but the decision itself will offer some relief. Or you can simply hang on for the ride and see where the roller coaster takes you.

Tomorrow I will be looking for guidance. I know I need to do things differently, but I'm not sure what that looks like. If I can get a better picture tomorrow, that will help. Knowing the nature of an injury helps so much in dealing with it. I had so many stress fractures in the past that I know how to handle those. This is something else. What a long trail of frustration I have been down lately.

So back to the comfort of chocolate and radio, two things that are keeping me sane at the moment...or more sane than I otherwise would be without them. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

October

When I first started writing Training on Empty, I was doing it, in part, to tell my story, but more importantly, I did it to give people some hope and inspiration. I wanted to show others that recovery from anorexia and other eating disorders is possible. Somehow sharing the fact that I have moved passed the hell of restricting and no longer even think about sticking my finger down my throat (and haven't for over 15 years) gave me the courage to continue working on any lingering issues, some I didn't even know I had. I also started a blog, and, as I continued to write in it over the years, discovered that recovery is a process. Every year I grow and learn. Recovery, a full recovery, I believe is possible, but it takes staying one step ahead of the illness, recognizing patterns and triggers and finding new coping mechanisms in order to be healthy. Fear is the biggest restriction when it comes to recovery. Mostly, though, it takes radical trust in yourself and a good dose of self respect to get over an eating disorder.

Self respect doesn't mean sham confidence or being cocky. There's beauty in being humble. When I look at some of my idols in running, most are modest, as they understand how much genetics, luck and hard work play roles in success. That's true in any field. The kind of confidence I'm talking about comes from treating both yourself and others well and with kindness. It grows the more you aim to do right in the world and aim to be less selfish. This is tricky, because those of us with eating issues can be both narcissistic and selfless at the same time. We give too much while obsessing internally.

I think I will create a handbook on what I feel are the most important factors in recovery. I have posted most of the material in my blog already. The information is also in Training on Empty, but it will be nice to have a condensed version in a booklet format. Because I have several other projects going on at once, this might take some time, but I'm hoping I can have it completed in a few months.


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October is domestic violence awareness month.


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At first when the “Don't Be That Guy” and "Make Your Move" campaigns came out, I thought it was something that would promote the idea that blaming the victim isn't a good thing and perpetuates a culture in which women are objectified, abused and thought of as lesser beings. I think this was the idea behind the campaign, but The Violence Stops Here and the Anti-Rape Campaign ads don't exactly remove the blame from the potential victims. In fact, the blame in some of the ads is still pretty obviously resting on the drunk or careless woman's shoulders. No, in these ads, the focus is on some third party stepping in to rescue the victim. Blame aside, I'm not sure how this is supposed to help address the root of the problem. 

My real issue is that the creators of the ads claim they are shaming the potential perpetrator, but nobody is stating outright, "Hey, you fucking asshole, don't do that! It's wrong." Nobody is demanding that HIS behavior be addressed. Instead, let's send the message that we need to get women out of the equation and rush them to safety. They can't be out in public on their own, ESPECIALLY if they want to have a few drinks. God, keep them OUT of the bar or they will get into trouble. My ad campaign would be different. It would be the "Don't be an asshole, you piece of shit" campaign. Now, that would focus on the REAL problem (i.e., Tell the perpetrator he's in the wrong and deal with him directly.)




Ahh, yes, she was asking for it to stop. This guy's buddy apparently wasn't listening to her, so the big hero steps in and all is right in the world. Shit. How about a better ending where the guy wasn't listening to her say stop, so she leaves or, if things get really out of hand, kicks him in the nuts. What is the end result here? The woman always needs this guy around to keep his buddies from attacking her? Ick.




This one isn't as bad, but why does she have to be the one to leave? Why can't the scary dude hanging all over her be the one escorted out of the establishment or at least called out on his icky behavior? I suppose if anyone, male or female, is terribly drunk, friends would want to watch out for this person, but isn't the bigger issue some dude who's getting ready to take advantage of a human being? Why doesn't anyone go up to the the dude and tell him he's being a scumbag by hanging all over a drunk girl?


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In other news, I don't have uterine cancer. That's a relief, because all my symptoms were pointing in a bad direction. My doctor is taking the wait and see approach. If I start spewing as much blood as Quint in Jaws when he is attacked and eaten by the shark, we will take some action. 

My injury is still nagging me, but I'm seeing some progress in my range of motion. Now to address the pain issue.

October also means the new season of American Horror Story. So far, it's good. The slower pace (for now) is a nice change from the intensity of the first few episodes of last season.



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Trying to Make the Best of a Bad Situation

I could always go the the pool and, when blood squirts out, stop and scream, "SHARK!" OK, that wasn't actually my idea, but I kind of like it.

Last week, I had another biopsy. My new doctor took out three big chunks of my uterus, and she didn't ask me to take medication to open up my cervix, which was a relief. It turns out that my cervix is tilted. I guess that's a good thing when it comes to trying to avoid kids but not so good when it comes to my monthly (oh how I wish it could be monthly again!) cycle. If all goes well, I will have some answers and possible solutions presented on Thursday.

In other news, I'm frustrated with how slow the progress is with this injury, but my PT, who is really good, is doing everything he can to help me through this. My body, hormonal problems and the nature of the injury are what interfere with my healing.

Finally I got some good news. I was approved to write some cooking articles. I've been dragging my fingers through a few running articles, and I desperately need a change of scenery. It's not fun to write about something you can't do. The cooking articles excite me more at this point. They don't pay as well, but they are way more fun. My first article will be about chocolate, of course.

After listening to a lecture given by a musician who talked about piracy, busking and her music career, I realized that I have a terrible time asking for help or for things in general, as many of us do. One of the points this musician brought up was that when we ask for something like money, it keeps us connected. Rather than a label taking a big cut of what she deserved, she went directly to her fans. When she asked those who could afford it to pay for her music, she could play it forward and give free music to those who couldn't afford it.

I have been trying to offer the same and give my book away for free now and then, but I need to be better about asking those who can afford it to make the purchase. I really suck at asking for things like that. I think there are people who don't realize that a career in the arts is difficult. People see it as a hobby and are often reluctant to pay for a CD, a book or a painting. It's not always obvious the time and money that went into creating these works. But the musician's main point was that she wanted her music to be available to everyone. She felt that if she asked for instead of demanded payment, people would respond. For her it worked.

That said, I'm still of the mindset that I want people to enjoy what I create, so I'm going to give away the book of short stories Kevin Beck and I wrote for free for three days only. All I ask is that you spread the word and play it forward when you can.

The coupon code is: BG66D
And the link is here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/347361