Taking a breath in New paltz

I had off from work on Tuesday so I decided to take bus to New Paltz. I needed to get away for a day. I needed to go somewhere to take a breath. I needed to find inspiration to write.

I arrived early morning and headed straight to yoga at ashtanga yoga. It is right above a health food store. There were only a few people in class that morning. Afterwards I went to a book store around the corner called Barner Books. The owner was very helpful when I asked him about the area. He wrote down a few places I should check out.

I walked to Wallkill valley Rail Trail and went hiking for a bit. I stopped once I made it to the lake. It was there that I found two hippies and their dog. A young man writing in a tiny notebook and a woman playing guitar. I sat next to them and began writing in my notebook. I told the woman I liked her guitar. The strap was rainbow colored. I wanted to ask them some questions about the area but I didn’t want to bother them. I was sure that they had some interesting stories. I sad goodbye and went on my way.

The man at the book store told me I should check out wallkill farm market. It is only about mile away from town. On the way there I found a little bike rack where you can borrow a bike for free. All you need to do is go into one of the shops near by and give them your ID. Sadly, I couldn’t fit on any of the bikes. I wonder if Kristin Chenoweth has trouble finding an adult bike to ride.

Determined to not be discouraged about not being able to rent a bike, I kept walking towards the farmers market. I found the cutest chocolate shop. Lagusta’s Luscious. I fell in love right away. It was founded by a vegan chef in 2003 and the bakers work closely with small farmers. They only use 100% fair trade and organic chocolate. I got a vegan peanut butter cup as well as a list of vegan restaurants in NYC. 🙂

Continuing my waIk through town, found a cute little shop on the side of the road called Groovy Bluberry. absolutely loved this store! It reminded me of a crayon box. Almost everything inside was tie dye. The women that work there are so laid back and very helpful. I told them I was taking classes for digital journalism and they gave me a couple of emails and ideas. They also suggested some bars to go to. Before I left the store to go to the farm, I bought two bracelets. A pink one for me and a yellow one for my girlfriend.

I finally got to the farm market. The scenery was beautiful. There were flowers everywhere and the bakery smelled heavily. I would have stayed longer but I didn’t want get back to New York too late. I got sweet corn for 50 cents and walked back into town.

One of the bars that was suggested to me was Bacchus. I walked in and ordered the cheapest beer. Immediately, the man next to me asked me how old I was. No one ever believes me when I tell them my age. I guess in time I will learn to like looking so young. A few minutes later another man asked me if I wanted to play pool with him. The same man that was writing in his notebook by the lake. It is moments like this that I truly believe everything happens for a reason. I believe everyone we meet has some kind of impact on our lives.

We began to play and talk about our lives. He told me that he is planning to travel and play in a band with the woman I saw him with earlier. I told him that I came here to get away for a while. I told him about my class and how much I missed my girlfriend. He had a very deep soul. I love meeting people with depth and knowledge. I love hearing stories about people’s lives and what they go through. It isn’t too often I meet people who aren’t shallow and whose thoughts are mostly filled with money and drinking.

We left the bar to get something to eat. Ofcourse I suggested sushi. He took me to Tokyo Suhi. We ordered the Avocado Boat and Mango roll. So delicious. After dinner, her walked me to the bus station and waited with me until my bus came. We continued talking about relationships and work. He suggested I made a video resume and email him with any questions. I wished him good luck with his band and got on the bus back home.

I felt really good about the day I had. It was much needed. I need to get away for a day. I needed to clear my head and meet some new people. I may not be able to afford to travel to India or even California right now but a bus upstate was nice a day. I didn’t even feel too bad about everything I ate that day because I had walked so much. I was able to breathe and not be stressed out for too long. I want to go back when I have more time and money. I would love to go wine tasting and kayaking. I highly recommend taking a trip to New Paltz for anyone looking to destress.

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I must of have watched the Evolution of Beauty a dozen times. Each time I watch it, I tear up. The amount of pressure women put on themselves because of the lies we have been told is unsettling.

Demi Lovato has been very candid about her struggles with eating disorders and her journey to get better. The fact that Cosmopolitan decided it was ok for them to photshop her a new body on the cover of their magazine when the interview about her eating disorder was on the inside pages is beyond my comprehension.

Gaining It All Back

Today is the second day of Miss Representation’s Keep it Real Challenge, where people all over the country are urging magazine companies to print just ONE (only one) unretouched photo per magazine.

These images aren’t of real people anymore. But they’re presented as if they are. These magazines and diet ads tell us that we can look like these pictures if we buy their products, if we read their articles, if we just try a little bit harder. But the reality is that we can’t. All of this airbrushing and retouching is placing the standard of beauty WAY above our heads and setting children up with unrealistic expectations to reach.

I took a class on eating disorders my first year of college and we spent a while discussing the media. One interesting/horrifying thing that I learned and will never forget is that people completely make up some of the…

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“you are beautiful in my eyes” Julianna’s story

Julianna is one of the most caring people I have met on tumblr. I talk to her on daily basis. We started talking over a year ago about our favorite show “Grey’s Anatomy”. Over time we have helped eachother through break ups, eating issues, family issues, school, and everyday life. She has this amazing smile and a light inside of her that is waiting to come out. She lets her insecurities   get the best of her. She loves everyone and everything with her whole heart. I hope I can somehow help her. 

 

1. When did your eating issues start?

I started having thoughts about eating around two years ago. My anorexia started about a year ago and the purging started in December.

2. How did you feel ?

The only thing I felt was fat. I was depressed. And when I stepped on the scale and found out I lost weight, I felt disappointed. Like I could do better. I lost all self confidence. I felt really worthless, like I was nothing. I felt weak, with no energy. Sometimes I felt like I was so heavy that I was going to break through the floor, even though in reality I wasn’t nearly that much to do that. I felt disgusted with myself. I began hating myself. To where I couldn’t barely even look at myself in the mirror without wanting to purge. Without wanting to cut, to die. I was never satisfied. 

3. How bad did it get? Did you get help?

It got pretty bad. But no one noticed until I went to the hospital for cutting and suicidal thoughts, by that point I was put on a calorie count, and I wasn’t eating enough so they had to watch my every move. They found out I started purging after I was discharged when I went to day treatment. I got sent back to inpatient for carving fat in my stomach, and then they sent to inpatient eating disorder. I cried and cried and cut and cut, until they took me out and let me go back over to adolescent side. Finally I started eating disorder day treatment, but quit that too. I’m not seeing an eating disorder therapist. I’ve quit purging, but I still starve myself on many occasions.

4. How do you stay in a safe place?

I stay in a safe place by taking my medications, and going to therapy and opening up, but sometimes it doesn’t help.

5. Do you have any advice for other people who might be struggling?

My advice to other people is to never, ever let it get too far. As soon as you realize that you have a problem, get help. I know your mind will keep telling you no, but you have to do it anyways. Don’t listen to your mind. You are beautiful in my eyes, inside and out. No matter what.

Link: her page

“let it go”- Sara’s story

 

1. When did your eating issues start?

My eating disorder started…I don’t even honestly know how. I had grown up with my grandma always obsessing with how skinny I was, but eventually she started saying I could stand to lose ten pounds.

2. How did it make you feel?

I guess it was just my way of controlling something in my life. It has always made me feel totally worthless.

3. How do you stay in a safe place? 

I’m recovering slowly by trying to eat more without purging, and I try to have people around while I do eat so they can keep me behaving instead of purging. My hobbies are music and writing.

“I thought being skinny would change my life” – my best friend

1. When did your eating issues start?  


Around 8th grade. I was fat and gay. I didn’t have too many friends. I didn’t value myself. I was in a funk. I thought being skinny would change my life. I thought it would get rid of my insecurities. Exercise wasn’t my forte. I thought about people in poor countries and how they skinny they were because they didn’t enough food.  I started slowly cutting my portions down. My family didn’t approve. I come from a very big spanish family.

2. How bad did it get?

They always eat a lot. I wanted faster results so I would throw up in the shower after dinner. I got used to throwing up so much that I would throw up oranges and grapes. I would fall asleep in class because I didn’t have anything in my system to give me energy. My throat always hurt.

3. How did you feel?

I felt more confident once I started losing weight. People were talking to me more. I had friends in different groups in high school but I still felt insecure because I was still hiding the fact that I was gay.

4. Did you get help?

My parents sent me to a nutritionist. She made me write in a food journal but I always lied about what I ate.  One summer my family and I went on a cruise and there was food available 24/7. It was hard for me to stay away from it. I would starve myself all day and then at night I would sneak food and eat alone. I figured I would just eat whatever I wanted for this one week since I had already lost a lot of weight. I figured I would stay on top of my weight when I got home.

5. How do you stay in a safe place?

My weight went up and down for years. It is a constant struggle. My advice to other people is just to stay on top of it and don’t let it control you. Keep busy with hobbies and friends. I now have a lot of friends, a good job and a fiancé. I try to keep my weight in control but never to the point where it is unhealthy.

“Free of my mind” Saige’s Story

Saige is a beautiful and energetic young women. She is studying social work in New England. I stumbled upon her page when I was searching for different recovery blogs and I was immediately drawn to her story and her positive energy. I messaged her and asked her if we could talk. I realized we have more in common than our eating issues. We starting talking about being gay, writing and dong yoga. She also makes bracelets and calls them “beads of hope.” It reminds her to keep negative thoughts away. I bought one last week and it just came in the mail. I posted a picture and the link below. 🙂

 

1. What were you like before the eating issues? 

In high school i was the happiest, most athletic, fun-loving person EVER. i didn’t care about my body at all, looking back now i always thought i had big thighs, but i would never think about doing anything to change it. i never yo-yo dieted or was never called “fat” or any names like that. my household eats everything in moderation so i never grew up with one extreme or the other. there was never a huge emphasis on food or looks or ANYTHING like that.
2. When did it start? 
 i went to school down south (university of alabama) for my freshmen year and it was a HUGE culture shock (i am from a small town in new england) and all the girls were focused on their sorority and greek life and blah blah. I hated it and didn’t find anything in common with anyone. So I started running. first it was a mile a day, then two, then four, then seven, then before i knew it i was running 9 miles a day. I had severely lowered my food intake to only things i deemed “healthy.”
3. How did you feel?
When things were really bad, I felt worthless. Hopeless. Alone. I felt suicidal to the point where I either wanted to just starve and completely disappear or not be here at all. In the midst of your disorder is a scary place to be. Those thoughts don’t totally subside and go away forever but recovery is all about learning new methods to cope with whatever void you’re trying to fill instead of focusing and obsessing over food and exercise. It’s a hard line to distinguish; the line between health and the extreme. So it’s mainly what I’m working on every day. I stay as positive as I can because just like I had to “control” to get to where I am, I also have the power to dig myself out of this hole. If my mind trained itself to be the way it is now, then there HAS  to be a way to train it back. I’m a really firm believer that everything happens for a reason and I am finding out way more about myself than I ever would have had I not struggled with my eating disorder.
4. Did you get help?
I tried to seek therapy down there but they have no one on staff trained in eating disorders. So i transferred to a state school and played basketball there where i made a ton of friends and am SO HAPPY. my parents always knew there was something “wrong” with my eating but i had never openly talked about it with them, so i tried to handle things on my own until this past april when things got REALLY bad again. i had my worst relapse and got to my lowest weight. I wrote a three page letter to my mom explaining everything and she immediately got me help. I now have a treatment team of my dietician, body image therapist, and group therapy.
5. How do you stay in a safe place? 
There are setbacks that happen every day, every hour. Every day/week is different but i am hopeful that there will be a time when i am free of my mind. Some hobbies I do to get my mind off things are (no longer exercise, I’m not cleared to exercise until I gain some weight) light yoga, scrapbooking, making bracelets, reading, writing, andddd being at the beach!
6. Do you have any advice for anyone who might be going through the same thing?
My advice to other people would be to NEVER GIVE UP. Do everything in your power to fight the demons in your mind. Most of the time it seems impossible. But it’s not. Every sure as hell better than my best days in my eating disorder.

I just got this in the mail today 🙂

beads of hope

her page