Friday, September 21, 2012

It's OK

I just happened to stumble across this, this morning and I instantly feel in love with it. Honestly, I think I read it at least ten times in a row, hoping it might actually sink in. For whatever reason I also thought it was a good idea to send it to five different people. It must have really hit a weak spot. I will stop babbling and let you read it already...

It’s ok
"It’s ok to be who you are. It’s ok to desire what you desire.

In fact, it is more than ok. It is truly wonderful.

For in those things that bring you joy, you’ll find your greatest opportunities to give to life. In the genuine reality of who you are, you’ll discover how to be the best you can be.

What means more to you than anything? Honestly explore that question, and you’ll connect to a powerful, undeniable purpose.

You are a beautiful person with a perspective on life that is uniquely yours. Explore and fulfill the special possibilities that are alive in you.

Be who you are and create the unique joys that are yours to give. The beauty of life is what you know it to be."

What brings me more joy than anything? My mission for today is to honestly explore that question. Some of you might instantly have an answer & thats wonderful! Now that I am finally freeing myself from my eating disorder, I can do what makes me happy. I might still be trying to figure out exactly what that means but, IT'S OK! :) 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Change vs. Perfectionism

In my perfect world, I would be the type of person who gladly brought on change. I would never have an ounce of anticipitory anxiety. I would never get sweaty armpits, a shaky voice, and pink cheeks when thrown into the fire. Nothing would bother me. Go with the flow, let it roll off my back, breathe deeply, take a chill pill, you get the picture.

However, perfection does not exist. Well, at least I haven't been able to find it in my little world. Most of my life I have spent trying to achieve "perfection." If asked to give my definition of perfection, I don't think I could come up with a very good answer, because it isn't real.Webster defines perfect as:

Adjective: Having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.
 Verb: Make (something) completely free from faults or defects, or as close to such a condition as possible.

Do you know anyone who is perfect at every single thing they do? I sure don't. So why is okay to expect such high standards of myself?

All morning I have been unpacking, throwing out old clothes, and cleaning my room. My goal is to make it feel like home again. I don't need a single reminder of the old me. This is a fresh new start. Although, in my perfect world I would be thrilled to start new, it hasn't been that simple. I'm petrified, not even close to being thrilled. What if I throw out all of the progress I have made? There is nobody to hold me accountable now, except me, myself, and I. Somehow I'm going to have to rebuild trust not only with my friends and family, but more importantly with myself. It's now time to listen to my body and rational brain instead of my compulsive and disordered brain.
I'm finally starting to realize that my fear of change is really about my fear of not being perfect. Whenever new opportunities come along, mistakes are bound to happen. I have also learned that once I am comfortable in any given situation, it's time to move on; ready or not. Running away and avoiding change is something I have become extremely good at, which means I'm obviously comfortable with it. I think my biggest goal for the next couple of months is simply to be mindful of the decisions I make regarding change. Am I running or embracing new things? Am I allowing myself to let go of the perfectionism? Am I following my rational brain? Who wants to be perfect?! I'm starting to realize my favorite things about people are the things that make them unique and quirky. After all, perfect people are any fun to be around anyways :)

P.S. In honor of all the changes in my life, I think it's time for a new title for my blog. Little Miss Food Snob doesn't exactly promote eating disorder recovery (haha). Any thoughts or suggestions?

And my new obsession.... Hope, Healing & Happiness

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Will someone please explain to me why it always seems easier to run from a scary situation rather than actually deal with it? Please? What purpose does it actually serve? I can't seem to think back on a time in my life when I preferred facing problems vs. avoiding them. Not just avoiding, but running as fast as I possibly could in the opposite direction. Even if the consequences were unbearable.

At this very moment I am choosing to sit with uncomfortable feelings. Anger. Fristration. Irritability. Anxiety. Worry. Frightened. Fed up. Exhaustion. Restlessness. Rage. Shame. Trouble concentrating. Guilt. Disappointment. Misunderstood. Emotional hunger. Overwhelmed. Dread. Lonely. Unworthy... Is it really possible to have all of these feelings at the same time?! Apparently, I have never given myself the opportunity to find out and it's becoming much more clear why I tend to choose to ignore these feelings.

Who in their right mind would gladly bring on any of those feelings? From the time we are very young, we are taught that any emotions except joy and cheer are simply unacceptable. Crying makes you weak. Anger makes you a horrible person. Feeling overwhelmed makes you inadequate compared to others who have a full schedule. Stereotypically speaking of course, but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with. Personally, I feel that constantly wearing my happy face is exhausting. It may have taken me 24.5 years, but unfortunately, I have become an expert at immediately squashing any negative emotion.

Over the past few months I have gained an understanding of what the purpose of my eating disorder is and why it seems impossible to let go of. Rather than focusing on emotions, happy or sad, I distracted my thoughts with food & numbers. I believe everyone has their own way of coping with difficult times in life; my 'drug' of choice was food or the lack there of.

Surprisingly, as I continue writing this I am beginning to feel more and more calm. I keep hearing my mom's famous words- "This too shall pass, Miss Belle." I think she may have been onto something after all. Negativity in any form is not pleasant, but it also makes feelings of joy and happiness that much stronger. I think one of my biggest obstacles in recovery will be facing my fears, unlike earlier today. In the moment running seemed like the right answer, but in the long run it caused all of the negative emotions I listed earlier to hit me at once. Luckily, I was able to sit with them this time around. Our biggest fears will never go away until we finally decide to face them.

"Life, she realized, so often became a determined, relentless avoidance of pain-of one’s own, of other people’s. But sometimes pain had to be acknowledged and even touched so that one could move into it and through it and past it. Or else be destroyed by it."

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Graduation Day

 "Once you start recognizing the truth of your story, finish the story. It happened but you're still here, you're still capable, powerful, you're not your circumstance. It happened and you made it through. You're still fully equipped with every single tool you need to fulfill your purpose."
A twenty year old young lady who is wise beyond her years read me this quote at my graduation this past week. For quite sometime I was in denial about the truth of my story. Struggles and dark days did happen, but I am still capable and powerful. I did make it through, regardless of the days I called home begging my mom to come save me. More often than not, I forget that I am fully equipped with tools and a a purpose; they were just lost for awhile.

My therapist and I joke about my first day at RCC, even though at the time it was the most traumatic day of my life. After she showed me the food pantry I threw a pretty impressive temper tantrum and I tried to chase after my parents as they drove out of the parking lot. Honestly, I didn't think it was possible for me to make it through the program. I don't remember much about that first day, or the entire first week, except that I could not stop crying. At first I was furious that isolation wasn't allowed, but after a few weeks I became fearful of missing out on any fun my fellow patients were having.
Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to spend my entire 24th summer in a treatment facility. My parents dropped me off kicking and screaming, but ironically after 16 weeks I am ready to move in and stay forever. I made some life long friends, regained my passion for life, found my sense of self, learned to enjoy food again, developed goals for the future, discovered my true passion, and most importantly have been given a second chance at life.
It has been a rough couple of months and I have a bumpy road ahead, but for the first time in my life I feel ready to take control again. Leaving this chapter of my life behind is bittersweet, but it is definitely time. Words will never express the amount of love and gratitude I feel for all of the people who have been with me on this journey. Finally, I am able to recognize my truth and with time I am certain I will finish my story (with a bang!).

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ready or Not...

It's 3:30 in the morning. In two and a half short hours I have drag myself out of my cozy, warm bed to eat breakfast. Yup, almost time to eat again. 

My brain is in overdrive. Two nights and three days is all I have left of this chapter of my life. Thursday I am "graduating" treatment (aka being discharged). Am I ready for this? Can I handle the work load on my own, without supervision and consequences? Is it possible to relocate back into the environment where this evil monster originated? Will anybody outside of the clinic have the slightest comprehension how complex this disease is? How will I find the strength to start fresh with a new therapist? Does anyone realize that the hard work actually starts now? Finally, I feel confident and comfortable being honest and open with others and now I'm expected to pack my bags? With all of these fears doing laps in my brain, it's no wonder I can't sleep.

The unfortunate part is, I haven't met anyone who is 100% ready to leave treatment. Isn't it ironic that I was dragged in kicking and screaming, but now I'm ready to move in and stay forever?! The staff could monitor my calories and weight everyday for the rest of my life and I wouldn't have to face the real world ever again. Sounds perfect! Unfortunately, I have gotten comfortable here and that tells me it's time for change, as frightening as it may be.

My original plan was to write in my journal after tossing and turning for hours, but shockingly, I had used up all the pages in my journal. Instead, I took a trip down memory lane and read some of entries from my early weeks of treatment. As long and drawn out as the days seem here, somehow the weeks fly by. My bottom lip began to quiver and tears filled my eyes as I read my own words from a few short weeks ago. I thought I would share a few things that stood out to me....

6/12/12 Day 2 in Ohio 
"I think if I can truly take this treatment in then everything will be okay. They already know I'm good
 at eating healthy foods, so why not challenge that? In no other circumstances would I eat this crap. So I need to 'celebebrate' and be proud of myself after each meal today. I have 3 opportunities to celebrate today, how lucky am I?!"
Day 2??? Somewhere down the road I forgot about this simple concept...

"Yesterday I didn't take my Adivan (anti anxiety med) until I saw zebra cakes on my plate at snack 
and I almost shit a brick. So my goal for today is to simply get through the day without those stupid anti anxiety meds."
This made me laugh- now I get excited when we have Little Debbies in stock!

"My parents came to visit me for the first time today. I was really nervous, but I'm so glad they came! My dad told me he liked my make up... It's sad to think I went so long without it or feeling pretty."
My favorite part of the day now is doing my hair; it's thick and shiny again! Its amazing what food can do...

"I'm really pissed that I had to eat that crap! It didn't taste good. I didn't enjoy it. It made me feel SICK. How can I eat this (f-ing) food for weeks?! I can't believe I just put that in my body. I don't 
want to be around people. I feel soooooo gross."
Obviously, that was a bad day. I feel like my first couple of weeks were that way. Every time I sat down to eat I felt angry. Anger is nearly impossible for me to express, so simply writing these things was improvement.

"No fireworks for me today, but I did have fun tonight. I went to the mall this morning with the girls and went 'creeking' tonight. I didn't really want to go, but I'm really glad Hilary convinced me. Those are the moments that keep me pushing through this crazy time."
This was oddly a turning point for me. I started to realize all of the fun moments I could have and lifelong friends I was making.

"Friday the 13th. I'm going home today for the weekend. I haven't been home for more than 24 hours in 9 weeks! I'm so nervous. I'm sweating already."
"Sunday morning and I'm in the back seat going back to RCC. Overall I had a decent weekend with a few hiccups here and there. I got all my calories in and that was my only goal... I'm excited to get back, what is wrong with me? Maybe I need to prolong this process as long as possible."
I have made huge strides since that weekend. My final weekend at home showed me how far I have come.

Going home will be rough. There's no doubt about it. However, if I take a little time to step back and open my eyes, I will see how far I have come. I am comfortable here. Finally. Unfortunately, progress isn't possible in my comfort zone. My only goal for the week is to cherish every single moment. I will remember these next few days for the rest of my life. It's time to go out with a bang! 

Phew, glad I got that off my chest. Maybe now my brain has calmed down enough to get those two and a half hours of sleep before its time to eat again...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Happy 92nd Grandma Cronkright

All week long I have been fretting and incredibly anxious about my Grandma Cronkright’s 92nd birthday party. Family parties and I tend to not get along so well. As difficult as it is for me to admit, I came up with at least six different excuses to get out of showing up.
Most of my family members look forward to or even count down the days until the next big Cronkright party. Not me. For some reason I flat out dread them. Pinpointing the exact reason has been a struggle for most of my childhood and early adult years. For a long time I blamed it on the ridiculous amount of food that somehow seems to continuously grow more and more out of control each year. My family can eat. I can't ever remember having a holiday dinner. Instead, lunch seemed to be a better idea. That way, the eating never really stops. It's a continuous process. Grazing. All. Day. Long. There seems to be an irrational fear of running out of food. I'm starting to think it's hereditary. Only two turkeys for Thanksgiving?! We better make a ham or two. You can quickly begin to understand why this would be an issue for someone with an eating disorder.

Yesterday was the first time I had seen most of my family all summer. I was dreading their reactions to my weight gain and comments about what was on my plate. My original plan was to stay for lunch and then take off. Shockingly, neither their reactions or comments were an issue at all. If anything they seemed genuinely thrilled to see me. I did get the occasional, "You look great, Kels," which typically sends my brain into a downward spiral very quickly (my brain twists looking great into looking heavier). But, for the first time in my life I actually believed there was a tiny bit of truth to what they were saying. 

As soon as lunch was over I was ready to jet. But, luckily, that's when the good times got started. The boys headed out to the famous Cronkright wiffle ball field. I can't remember a family gathering without a high intensity baseball game in the backyard.

While watching the game, I got to spend some quality time with a few of my favorite cousins. If forced to choose a favorite cousin, I don't think I could do it. Each of them makes me smile for different reasons. I am one lucky girl to have so many wonderful people with me for life.

 After the ball game was over, because the guys in the family seem to have a problem sitting still, they hit a few golf balls. A circle was set up as a target to chip the ball into. Not one of them made it in the circle. I think it's best to stick to baseball, boys....

After a few hours passed, it was hard for me to believe that not only was I still there, but my cheeks started to hurt from laughing so much. I was truly enjoying myself and it was about to get even better.
 Out of nowhere, my brother came out of the house with water guns. Before I knew it the young boys were doing laps around the house, more squirt guns appeared out of nowhere, Tommy climbed up a tree, and the hose was fired up. I haven't laughed that hard in years.


After a water balloon hit the table- we knew it was only a matter of time before we got hit...
By this point, it was pushing 5 p.m. and not only was I having a good time, I didn't want to leave. I was starting to worry about getting my dinner calories in... but it was kind of a nice change to allow my brain to get caught up in the moment rather than obsessing about food.

Somehow I got sucked into a game of (what my brother calls) dingle ball...


 My dad and I ended up winning the first round. We were then challenged to play a second time. By this time I knew I needed to grab something as part of my dinner. I was at a cook out, having a really good time, so I thought what the heck? Have a hot dog (for the first time in probably 10 years). And I have to say, it tasted pretty darn good. I was eating a hot dog and playing dingle ball at the same time and not even thinking twice about whether or not I should be having that hot dog... Amazing.
Hot dog in one hand, dingle ball in the other :)

Twenty four hours after the party and I'm still smiling. Where else are you going to celebrate a 92nd birthday with baseball, super soakers, golf, and dingle ball? For whatever reason I have always felt uncomfortable at family gatherings, but I proved to myself yesterday that not only can I get through them, I can also have a pretty darn good time. My family is one of a kind. I think the healthier my mind is becoming, the more I feel like I belong. Yes, I am definitely still struggling with a lot of things during my recovery process, but it's very comforting to know I have a loving family to get me through. I am coming home in a week for good. As nervous as I am, this weekend allowed me not only to see, but actually believe that I will have a warm welcome back into my life. :)