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Blown Away!!! And a Q&A

April 7, 2011

Oh. My. Gosh!!!!

Ladies, I am absolutely BLOWN AWAY!!!!

Ok, here is my honest opinion: the English language does not have words that properly describe the feelings I had last night. But I will try to do my best.

Astounded, overwhelmed, astonished, stunned, amazed, dazed, touched, awed, comforted, blown away, and most importantly, HONORED!

That is as close as I can get to properly describing my feelings about all of the understanding, love, and support I received about yesterday’s post. It was truly incredible. To those of you who commented for the first time, and to those who continually support me, I cannot tell you how much it means to me. My heart is not nearly deep enough, but from it’s very bottom, I thank you! I honestly did not know blogging could do this to me. But the encouragement I’ve been given and the love I have been shown have touched me so intensely. With every fiber of my being I believe that blogging has changed my life. I went into this community blindly, not knowing anyone or anything. And now, four months into it, I have made such amazing friends and everlasting relationships. From the very core of my being, THANK YOU!!!

Aw darn, words really don’t do any justice. Take all of what I wrote and multiply it by a million. That’s better! That is what I actually feel like! 🙂

For my Q & A I received some very wonderful questions. To the beautiful ladies who asked them, thank you! All the questions are absolutely fantastic. So, let’s get started! 🙂

  

How has your body image changed as your recovery has progressed?

Wow, what a great one! Hm. My body image has come full circle from before my ED to now. Pre-ED, I loved my body. I loved my legs, my hair, my face, my figure. I was always the big girl in my ballet class. I had hit puberty before most of the others, so I was one of the three big, curvy girls. And when I looked in the mirror, that was all I saw: this big girl in a leotard. As I lost the weight and starved down to a skeletal 88 pounds (healthy weight for me is about 110-115), I still looked in the mirror and saw the “big girl.” I saw the curves and protruding tummy that I used to have. I  never once saw myself as skinny. At 88 pounds I saw myself as being 117 pounds. As I gained weight for the first time, I began to see glimpses of the truth. Every now and then I’d see what others saw – the skinny, the boney. But most of the time, I saw myself as getting fatter and fatter. And as soon as I got the opportunity, I lost all that weight. Now that I’ve gained weight again, I see myself with clearer eyes than ever before. I see a girl with a healthy sized waist, a nice butt, muscular legs, and a round, bright face. Of course, my breast as of now are…lacking, but that’s to be expected. Actually, I must say that except for my breasts, my body looks exactly the same as it did when I was 110 pounds. Everything is back to where it was. And I see it quite truly. What I see now is the reality, and the reality is beautiful. 

  

What are your “staple” foods that you eat all the time?

I have 2 real staples: My BOYs and my nut butters. I have a nice large bowl of oatmeal for brekkie each day, and it always contains at least 2 types of fruit cooked in and a huge scoop of nut butter. I often have a nice yogurt mess for lunch. As for the nut butter, I eat it with everything. It goes on bananas, oats, bread, ice cream, and my personal favorite, from the spoon to my mouth. I don’t measure anymore, but I’d guess that I eat about 5 tablespoons per day. I would definitely consider oatmeal, yogurt messes, and nut butters my everyday staples.

 

Where do you like to shop?

Supermarkets? Whole foods, Wegmans, and good ol’ Shoprite. Oh, you meant clothes. Meh, I don’t like clothes shopping. I love clothes and dressing nicely, but shopping is a pain. I think the process of standing in a dressing room stall trying on shirt after shirt is so damn boring. If I could, I’d hire a personal clothing try-er on-er to do the job for me. But if I have to clothes shop, I like to keep it simple. Macy’s, Kohls, and dELiAs are my favorites.

 

Do you have a favorite TV show that you simply cannot miss?

Yes. Many, actually. I have a schedule for which shows I watch on which nights with Mommy. House, M.D. is my favorite, and it’s on Mondays at 8. Dancing With The Stars happens to be on at that time as well, so during commercials of House, I flip to Dancing. When it’s over, I watch my second favorite show, Castle, which is on at 10. On Tuesday nights I watch Dancing With The Stars, the Results Show. Wednesday I watch American Idol. Thursday I watch American Idol, the Results. Friday…nothing. Saturday there’s nothing either. Sunday nights I watch the new Family Guy episode at 9. And of course I try to squeeze in Family Guy during the week whenever I can. It is on from 6-7, so if I get home early enough from ballet, I catch the second half of the second episode.

How else, besides blogging and dance, do you relieve stress?

Other than blogging and dancing there is one thing that comes to mind. If I am feeling particularly stressed or anxious, I organize. I hate cleaning – dusting, vacuuming, washing – but organizing things into categories or rows or groups is so relaxing for me. What do I organize? Anything. I reorganize the fridge, the pantry, and the different cupboards of my kitchen based on type of food, shape of jar or container, or how frequently we use them. My closet, my bookshelf, my desk, or my dresser are my other usuals. I think it goes back to my OCD and major perfectionism tendencies. The organization for OCD is obvious. But in terms of perfection, this is what I think: I strive – most of the time unconsciously – to be perfect. If my surroundings are not perfect, I feel this burning desire to correct that. Thus, by organizing (perfecting) my pantry, I sooth my need for perfectionism. And that in turn, relieves the stress surrounding that issue. So organization really is a huge one for me. When I am done, I feel so relaxed, in control, and very close to perfect. Yeah….that’s not really a good thing, but it does help.

 

What is your faith/spirituality like?

To be honest, I am terrified to answer this. I do not want to lose friends or make anyone dislike me. So I don’t really want to get deeply into it. I really hope none of you look down on me for this answer though. Simply put, about a year ago I started doing a lot of thinking about the subject, and I came to a conclusion: I do not believe in God. Do not misunderstand, I am by no means anti-God. I do not mind at all when people say things to me like “God bless you!” I personally just do not hold that system of beliefs. I respect other’s views on the subject, even if  I disagree, and I ask that you respect my view, even if you disagree. Like I said, I don’t really want to get further into this topic. If you are curious for more details, by all means, let me know (respectfully) in the comments section. I will gladly answer them personally.

 

Do you want to dance professionally or in college?

I would love to continue dancing after high school, but right now, I am torn. I have two painful calluses in between my toes. I recently learned that unless I get toe surgery, they will not go away if I keep dancing. In fact, they’ll get worse. And when I say they are painful, I mean excruciating. So I shall see how they feel at the end of high school. If the pain is manageable, I’ll definitely look into pursuing dance.

 

What college do you want to go to?

I have not given that one a whole bunch of thought but I do know I want to stay on the eastern side of the U.S. NYU seems to be the front-runner now. I am very interested in psychology, and I hear the pysch. department is good. I also love NYC and going to University in such a magical city would be incredible. 

 

Is it hard to watch other girls around you with eating disorders?

Yes. Very. Like I mentioned in this post, there is a girl at my ballet, K, who is very obviously struggling. Her emaciated state deeply frightens me. My good friend J and I spoke to a teacher about our concern. She told us that the staff had noticed too and spoken to K and her family. I feel so helpless, and it is especially hard because I was in the same boat as her just 5 months ago. Now I have to stand back and watch as she kills herself. I know the agony she feels, and I can’t do a damn thing to ease it. But it’s not only K. In the blog world, there are blogs I read that break my heart. Whenever the authors write about their struggles, I am again knocked down by this wave of helplessness. I wish I could do something. I wish I could go up to them, reach in their ears, and pull the eating disorder right out of their brains. But I can’t. Watching others struggle and knowing I cannot do a thing is very, very difficult.

So, that’s it for the Q & A. I want to send a huge thank you to the ladies who asked me these great questions. I hope you all enjoyed learning a bit more about me!

 

Qs~

How do you relieve stress?

Are there any of the questions you’d like me to further explain?

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2011 1:43 pm

    oh yay i loved this Q + A!! i eat likt 5 tbsp nut butter a day too.. pretty much with everything!! that must be SO hard with K.. i know what you mean about finding other blogs!!i ve found blogs of girls who are TRYING to become ano.. and im just like.. oh my goodness…

  2. April 7, 2011 3:28 pm

    I love these Q&A’s! Thank you so much for answering my questions. I especially loved your answer to the first one about your body image. It’s so great to see that you are seeing yourself in a healthy light and the way that you really look, not how ED tells you that you look. I definitely have a long way to go with my body image, especially since pre-ED I had low self-esteem, so this is really helpful!

    My stress relief is yoga. I just started doing it on a whim two months ago and I fell in love with it. It really helps me focus and stay calm under pressure. I hope it’ll be super helpful for final exams in a month 😉

    • April 8, 2011 2:17 pm

      Oh and to answer your question about birth control, according to my doctor and also my former therapist and nutritionist, birth control can help your bones if there is not too much damage from malnutrition. That was really the main reason they insisted I go on the Pill. I’m not quite sure if I had any bone density tests taken to determine if I’m at risk for osteoporosis, so I can’t be sure that BC will be helpful for everyone, but they were for me.

  3. April 7, 2011 3:57 pm

    Such a fun post Bryana, I totally enjoyed reading it!

    Stress relief = yoga, cleaning/organizing (like you!), reading and walking – I think that’s about it 😛

  4. April 7, 2011 9:35 pm

    Thanks for answering the Question and Answers, I really enjoyed reading them, your recovery journey is so inspirational to me.
    xoxoxo
    Emma

  5. April 8, 2011 4:15 pm

    Hi I just found your blog and loved reading to q and a! For me, exercise and running is a really good stress relief, but I have to check myself to make sure it doesn’t become compulsive. xxx

    Caroline

    • April 10, 2011 9:22 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by Caroline! I agree, making sure you exercise for the right reasons is very important.

  6. April 9, 2011 10:09 am

    Hi Bryana!

    I just wanted to tell you that I’ve been reading and following your blog for about 2 months now — sorry for not posting earlier, but I am amazed by your strength, determination, and overall road to recovery from ED! You are a true inspiration and I’m soooooo proud of you for how far you’ve come!!!!

    I do have a question for you, if you still open to more Q & A’s 🙂
    Like you, I lost my period due to excessive exercise and undereating — something I struggled with for 6 years before finally getting help. Currently, I’m doing much better with food, although running and exercising has been more difficult to let go. However, I have gained about 5-6 pounds over the past 12 months and have started to see white discharge again (sorry for the details). So, I was wondering if you’re experiencing anything similar. I know you said that you still don’t have a period, but are you noticing any discharge or lubrication (again, sorry for being overly descriptive!!!)?

    In terms of stress, nothing compares to a hot shower, journaling, painting my nails, getting a massage (although I know this can’t happen every day haha), or scrapbooking under stress. Running was basically my stress reliver and only coping mechanism in the past, so I’m re-learning my interests haha!

    Have a great weekend!!!!
    MC
    MC

  7. April 9, 2011 10:47 am

    love the Q&A and learning more about you! I especially loved the body image part, because I think it is so great how much you have grown in your respect for yourself 🙂

    Hope you are enjoying the weekend!

    Scott

  8. April 12, 2011 3:52 pm

    I love this! It was really good for me to see right now, especially the question about body image since I’m having a rough time in that department right now 😛

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