Monday, January 31, 2011

Recipe Day: Mahi Banh Mi Sandwich

Hey everyone! I hope you’ve all had a very wonderful weekend. I know I did—that’s why I haven’t posted in a few days.
I’m back with a recipe I made for my family over the weekend when I went home. I really love cooking, but I don’t get to do it much when I’m at school, so I enjoy any opportunity I get to whip up something yummy in the kitchen! On Saturday, I made Asian fish sandwiches, called Mahi Mahi Banh Mi. They’re a type of Vietnamese sandwich and they’re super-delicious, not to mention very healthy. It’s got a lot of fresh veggies, which I love, and grilled white fish which is high in protein. I admit that I do tend to stick with recipes that are lower in fat and include whole grains and such, which may be part of my ED-thinking, but it is much healthier to eat lean meats and veggies and fruit, which are all things I love.
Start out by preheating the grill to medium. If you don’t have a grill, this can work on a skillet, but it might make your house smell like fish J
Make sure your mahi mahi filets (2 for this recipe, but add in as many as you need and adjust the other ingredients) are thawed completely (if you bought them frozen), and spray a grill basket or pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set the fish aside.
Meanwhile, chop up some green onions and cilantro. Wash and thinly slice a carrot and a cucumber, so they end up in thin ribbons. Mix all the veggies together, or separate into different bowls and set aside.
Now put the fish in the grill basket or directly on the grill and cook for 10-20 minutes, flipping halfway through. The fish should get some grill marks and end up firm and opaque.
Inside, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut small ciabatta rolls in half lengthwise or cut a baguette down the middle and lengthwise and place bread pieces facing upwards on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 2-6 minutes, until fragrant and slightly browned.
Meanwhile, mix peanut sauce (I used Archer Farms Thai Peanut Sauce from Target) and spicy red sriracha sauce in a small bowl; make sure not to use too much of the spicy stuff, or omit it altogether if you don’t like spicy things.
Once the fish is done cooking, let it cool slightly, then place it on one half of the bread and cover it with the veggies and the sauce. Enjoy with a fresh fruit salad, a nice green salad or baked oven fries.
I got this recipe from the Food Network and adapted it a little bit. My family really loved this sandwich! If you’re not such a big fan of fish, you can definitely substitute grilled chicken. And feel free to add in any other veggies you’d like!

Picture of Mahi Mahi Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwiches) Recipe
Photo courtesy of Food

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Better Days Ahead

Sorry for the downer post yesterday! I just wanted to get my feelings out there, and while I like to stay positive most of the time, sometimes you just have to say what needs to be said. I'm definitely feeling a lot better about everything today--maybe because it's my half birthday today! This post will be very positive, promise J
I am very excited for this weekend. I’m going home to see my family! It’s only been 11 days since I’ve seen them, but going back to school after a month off for Christmas was a rough transition. I feel like my family is my rock, my support through everything, so I definitely enjoy going back down to see them. I usually go back every other weekend, but I don’t get to spend much time at home, since I don’t get back usually until Friday evening and then I have to leave on Sunday afternoon. But I enjoy every second I have with them, since I don’t see them all that often. Being away at college has definitely made me appreciate them more, and I’m so grateful to have such a great family.
I’m excited to make dinner this weekend. I love cooking, but now I hardly get to do any real cooking since I’m in a dorm. It’s gonna be fun getting back in the kitchen to make something yummy for my family.
I might end up going to Starbucks or a gelato place, too, which is fun. I feel like with my disordered thoughts, I don’t allow myself treats much and I think that after what I’ve been through these past two weeks, I DESERVE a treat. Take that, ED!
I can’t wait to see my sister again. We have a really close relationship, even though I’m usually miles away from her. She might end up being pretty busy this weekend, but I will enjoy every moment I do get to spend with her.
I’m more than ready for a break from my thoughts. I think that when I’m home, away from all the stress at school, I can focus more on living and recovering, without it being a daily struggle. I still want to be at the school I’m at, because I’m so excited to start my career, but I know that for me, I need the support I get at home every once in a while. It makes me stronger.
I’m ready for this weekend to start…I’m ready to start back on the road to recovery and this time, I’m gonna stick to it!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I am scared to write this post. It’s so frightening to get these thoughts out in writing, for anyone to see. But I have to do it to get better.
I wish it weren’t true, but my ED is trying to butt its way back into my life. And I am so mad that it is. I wanted my first few weeks back at school to go smoothly, but they haven’t.
I came back unprepared, I guess. I was surrounded for a month by love, support, happiness. Even the worst moments were nothing to really cry about. Then I got back, and I was overwhelmed. Back to a routine…but it’s harder than last semester. Back to someone I don’t like dealing with…and it hasn’t gotten any easier. Back to feeling judged for everything I do. And being far away from my lifeline of caring.
I’m sick of hearing the voice tell me I’m worthless and fat and no one will like me unless I’m skinnier. It pisses me off, to put it bluntly. I hate it. But I feel like I can’t stop it. I hate to say it, but I’ve been struggling with restricting. Not extreme, but it makes me feel crappy and scared. I want to go back to eating normally and feeling good…but how? It’s all too easy to get stuck in ED’s trap.
I’m trying my hardest to break through it, though. I know it won’t be easy, but I want to get back up and keep climbing the mountain towards recovery. I can’t let two weeks send me back into relapse. I want to get better. I have to. I can’t let this beat me again. I WON’T!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Scared of the Future

I’m excited about what’s to come in my life, don’t get me wrong. But I’m also scared to death. I have no clue what will happen next year, let alone tomorrow. It’s kind of dizzying to think that the only person who really knows everything that will happen to you is God…and sometimes, He likes surprises. And sometimes, I don’t like surprises.
I’m hoping my college experience as a sophomore will be a little better than it was this year as a freshman. It was really hard getting used to something so completely new and different, so next school year should be a bit easier. Hopefully, I’ll be in a better living situation and I’ll be able to handle my course load without so much stress.
I want to get my first job sometime in the near future. I’m worried about the whole interview process, but I think I’m ready to start making my own money, instead of totally relying on my parents. I’m an adult now, and I need to start getting used to it!
I want to have opportunities that will help me in my future career. Luckily, I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do…all I have to do now is figure out how I can get a head start on it now. Internships are sure to come within the next year or so. They probably won’t be fun at first, but you’ve gotta start somewhere, right?
I also want to get rid of my ED once and for all. I’m not setting a specific or even general date for this to happen, because I don’t want to be disappointed. Instead, I’ll take things day by day. If I slip up one time, I’ll do better the next day. I might struggle with negative thoughts my entire life, but as long as it doesn’t control me, I think I can be okay with that.
Someday, probably not soon, but in a few years, I know I’ll probably have to get off birth control. A year ago, I started taking it because both my doctor and therapist insisted I had to take it so I could get my first period. My anorexia came around at a really bad time—just before I would have probably had my first period, if I hadn’t been so thin. I was a late-bloomer, and I’ve been underweight my whole life, but I think that if I had continued to eat normally, I would have gotten my period naturally by the time I was seventeen. Instead, I ruined my body’s chance at finishing what it started (puberty) and I have to take BC so I can actually get a period. I know it’s good for me, because it helps build up my bones—yay, no osteoporosis!—and it’s also cleared up my skin a lot. But if I want to have a family someday, I’ll have to stop so I can start getting my period naturally. And it’s not good to keep taking it non-stop for several years. I know it’ll be scary to stop taking it, but I have to see if my body can function normally without it.
I’m really scared about any future relationships I may have. What if I find a great guy, and I end up screwing up my body and my life again, and I lose him? What if I can’t have kids because of the damage I’ve done? What if I pass my disordered thoughts onto my kids?
For now, I’ll just keep praying and letting each day be a stepping stone towards my future life…whatever that may be!

Hmmm...what's in store for me?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Loving Your WHOLE Self

Hey everyone! I hope you’ve had a great weekend J Mine was pretty good, surprisingly busy, but I got to catch up with a friend of mine I hadn’t seen since before winter break, so that was really nice.
I have to admit that I’ve been hearing the ED voice a lot recently. I think it’s because I’m under a lot of stress with new classes starting and getting used to being back on campus. But…it SUCKS! I hate being stressed out and having to deal with my anorexia crap. So I wanted to offer a little hope to all of you, and to myself.
It’s hard for anyone to really love themselves all the time. Sure, many people are self-centered, but they do have their bad days when they beat themselves up over a mistake. I feel like having an eating disorder of any kind can intensify this self-hatred to the extreme. There are so many days I wake up and just point out all my “flaws”—then I look back on it and it makes me really sad to think that I would say all that to myself, but I keep on doing it. I think ED enjoys abusing us L
But I’m trying (really trying) to see myself for who I really am—human, which means I have issues just like everyone else, but I don’t have to let my mistakes and quirks get me down. I can embrace them and let them make me a better person.
I’ve always been on the small side for my age. So I’m no stranger to the “short” jokes—the 50th one hurts no less than the first one, unfortunately. Luckily, it goes away for the most part in college, since most people have better stuff to talk about. I still find myself wishing I could be at least a few inches taller, but I’m trying to accept my 5’1 frame for what it is. That’s what heels are for, right? I like being petite and it makes me who I am.
I also have a young-looking face. Adults always tell me that I’ll love it when I’m older. Right now, it kinda sucks. I feel like no one takes me seriously because I look like I could still be a freshman in high school…or even a middle-schooler! But it gives me the opportunity to show off my mental and emotional maturity, and that’s what really counts.
I am a shy person by nature…well at least some people would tell you that. Anyone I’ve known for a while knows that I like to talk. I am so comfortable around my family. I can talk for hours with good friends. But put me in a room with people I barely know and I probably won’t say much. I’ll respond politely to any questions you ask, but I might not ask you many back. It’s not that I’m snotty or stand-offish; it’s just that I have a hard time thinking of conversation starters with people I don’t know.
I am also extremely emotional. I do wish I were a little stronger when it comes to criticism, but I’m not. I cry when I get into little fights with my sister. I take things too seriously and personally. However, I feel like this quality makes me a little more empathetic to others’ problems and situations.
There are too many days that I beat myself up for saying something stupid, tripping in public (I’m kind of a klutz) or just hate my body. I want there to be more days when I like what I see in the mirror and I can take all my issues and “flaws” in stride and help them make me who I really am. I hope you can take some time today to compliment yourself for something you do really well, or appreciate your quirks. You’ll feel so much better when you do.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Beyond the Mirror

Most people with an ED see themselves very differently than the world sees them. They may look at themselves and see nothing but fat, when in reality they are just skin and bones.
I feel this way countless times looking in the mirror. Sometimes, I do like what I see but not often. I try to avoid looking at myself when I’m having a bad day, but my reflection is everywhere, from store windows to computer screens.
Even though I know that having anorexia makes me see myself as bigger than I really am, it didn’t really sink in til I started looking at myself in this one certain mirror. It’s one of those kinds of mirrors you’d hang up in a locker—a small, lime green polka-dotted magnetic mirror. When I turned it horizontal, I looked skinny. But if I turned it vertical, I would look fat. I started to really think that the vertical one was the real me. Then I looked at other objects in the mirror, and realized that when it was turned vertically, it distorted the image and made everything look wide. I realized at that moment that that was exactly how I saw myself everyday—bigger than I am. The horizontal image was the real me, not the vertical one. Mirrors do lie, but more importantly, our brains can lie to us too, especially if we have an eating disorder. It tricks us into thinking we are fat and worthless. But we’re not. We’re priceless and we DESERVE  recovery. Our ED doesn’t define us and it doesn’t deserve to be in our lives.


Big fat LIE!
Note: I’m not meaning for these pictures of me to be triggering to anyone, it’s just my interpretation of how the mirror can lie to us!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Toxic People

I try to surround myself with positive people. Who wants to be around someone who’s negative all the time? Unfortunately, though, we can’t always choose who we are around.
I really can’t stand my roommate. At the end of last semester, I was so fed up with her lack of communication that I talked with my RA about it. But the problem didn’t really get resolved. Now my roommate will talk to me when I talk to her, but I still don’t like her. She makes the room smell, her side is a big mess and she doesn’t leave the room very much. Sometimes, I just want the room all to myself, and I can’t. I have classes for pretty much all afternoon three times a week, and I’d like to come back to an empty room where I can just chill and relax. Doesn’t happen. If she’s not in class or having a meal, she’s in here. Grr. I never get a weekend here to myself because she never goes home, despite living only 30 miles away, compared to my 200 mile round trip.
Early on, I used to go to dinner with her because I didn’t know anyone else all that well. I don’t know why I ever did. She regularly commented on how little I was eating—little compared to her—and why I ate so healthy. She acted like she was superior for being a vegetarian, but that just meant she could eat unlimited French fries and cheese pizza. Well, she doesn’t know about my anorexia, nor does she need to know. I don’t like her at all, so why should I tell her something so important and private about me? As I’ve mentioned before, she also brags about being skinny occasionally and it just makes me mad.
I’m rarely happy when I’m in the room with her. I’m usually secretly seething in anger and trying to avoid even catching a glimpse of her. I’m not sure why, but just seeing her makes me mad. I guess because of our tense relationship. This anger just fuels my ED and makes me feel like I can’t control anything but my food. So I do, and I end up regretting it.
This is why I try to eat in my room alone. I feel awkward and annoyed being around her, so why complicate my already weird food problems by eating when she’s around? I feel like I do better when I’m alone and I can listen to music and just chill and focus on how good the food is. Or when I’m at home, surrounded by people who love me and who don’t judge me. They know I have an ED and they’re there to support me. Not my roommate. I want out of this relationship, now! I didn’t ask for this…

Thursday, January 20, 2011

On a Different Note...

I decided I wanted to do a non-eating disorder related post. I’ve been thinking about it too much lately and focusing on my “flaws” and I realized I needed to take a step back and reflect on the things I do well.
I like photography. I’m not considering it as a career at the moment, but it’s just something fun I like to do in my free time. I take a lot of pictures of myself (for Facebook, of course) but I also like taking pictures of the great outdoors. Being outside makes me calm and happy—I just love the energy fresh air gives me. I would love to live in a big city someday, but I also would love to have a house in the mountains or the beach so I could get away from it all. Nature really is inspiring and beautiful. But I also take artistic photos of other objects in my life and I really like seeing how they turn out.
One of my favorite places--Rocky Mountain National Park
 in Colorado (my almost home state)

Just your average TV remote from a different angle

Just thought this looked cool

Bright sunny day and a firetruck ladder...oh yeah :)

We made mini s'mores over a candle on New Years--
best new tradition EVER!

Who I Really Am

I know there’s a me behind the ED. I want to be that person again. Every time I overanalyze food or criticize my body, I am letting anorexia win. But I want to be the ultimate winner. I am in this to win it.
I am a girl who has a great sense of fashion. I am a good student who is committed to school. I am shy, but a loyal friend. I am a supportive big sister. I am a devoted daughter. I have big dreams for myself. I won’t let ED take those away from me. I have bad days, and good days, but I won’t let the bad ones get me down. I am emotional, but I am usually happy. THIS is me…
…not this. I am good at counting calories. I am my biggest critic. I have self-control when it comes to food. I am addicted to the mirror, but I hate what I see. I let others control me. I want to please everyone but myself. I think being skinny is better than being a nice person. I will never be thin enough. I feel a high when I restrict.
I like the real me better…

This is the real, likes-to-take-artistic-pictures-of-herself me :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Baby Steps

Do you ever have to eat something or at a certain place you’re not exactly confortable with? I hadn’t experienced this in a few months, but all that changed last night.
My good friend from my dorm invited me to dinner with her…at the cafeteria. Keep in mind, neither of us really like the dining halls, and when we go out to eat, it’s always to a pretty healthy fast-casual place, such as Qdoba or Noodles. I can plan ahead of time what I want to get, and even be reassured that I’ll like it and it’s ‘safe’, ED-wise. I honestly try to avoid the dining halls as much as possible, mostly because the food offered there isn’t really appealing to me and they tend to repeat the same things a lot. When I’m away from home at college, I eat the food my parents bought for me to make in my room or I grab something to-go from the express store, which has a few things I like. Really, the only things I ever get at the cafeteria are a bowl of pasta with fresh veggies & beans or some brown rice with tofu from the salad bar or occasionally the Mongolian stir-fry. That’s what I had last night: some rice noodles with fresh bell peppers, a little sauce and chicken.
I challenged myself to eat normally, since my friend doesn’t know about my ED. But I really didn’t care for my meal. I totally avoided the chicken, because it looked and felt fake. I had to dump a bunch of red pepper flakes on the noodles to make them taste like anything, since I didn’t my ED didn’t want to use a lot of sauce. That’s the first time in a long time that I ate something I didn’t like one bit. I didn’t eat a lot, but I did eat some of it. I did enjoy spending time with my friend, but I couldn’t help wishing we had gone out to eat.
It was a good experience for me, though. I learned that sometimes you have to eat something you don’t necessarily care for—especially if you’re in recovery. If you are a normal eater, you can get away with skipping a meal or two because it wasn’t something you liked, but those of us who struggle with an ED of any kind absolutely have to nourish our bodies and banish the voices of the disease so we don’t slip back after one day of restriction. I know it was a baby step, but it’s encouraged me to keep going with my healthy habits.
Also, I changed the look of my blog and I hope you like it. I think it fits me more because it's a picture I took last year over spring break in my hometown of Phoenix, AZ. I feel like this blog is about going back to my roots and trying to discover what lead me to my anorexia and ultimately, my recovery process.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Hairspray" Inspiration

I love the 2007 movie, Hairspray. Not only are the songs catchy and make me want to dance, but I love the message it expresses: Love yourself for who you are, no matter what your body looks like, and don’t let the world tell you you can’t do anything you set your mind to.
I have the soundtrack on my iPod and while I was listening to it recently, I really got into the song, “I Know Where I’ve Been”. In the movie, it was performed by Queen Latifah, and it was a really powerful song. But before, I never really listened to the lyrics. I feel like I really heard them for the first time last night, and they actually apply to my struggle with anorexia. I’m sure it applies to others’ struggles as well. Here are the lyrics, and I highlighted the parts that I thought were most meaningful.
There's a light in the darkness
Though the night is black as my skin
There's a light burning bright showing me the way
But I know where I've been

There's a cry in distance
It's a voice that comes from deep within
There's a cry asking why
I pray the answer's up ahead
, yeah
'cause I know where I've been

There's a road we've been travellin'
Lost so many on the way
But the riches will be plenty
With the price, the price we had to pay
There's a dream in the future
There's a struggle that we have yet to win
And there's pride in my heart
'cause I know where I'm going, yes I do
And I know where I've been, yeah

There's a road we must travelThere's a promise that we must make
Oh but the riches will be plenty
Worth the risk and the chances that we take
There's a dream in the future
There's a struggle that we have yet to win
Use that pride in our hearts
To lift us up to tomorrow
'cause just to sit still would be a sin
Lord knows I know where I've been
Oh, when we win
I'll give thanks to my God
'cause I know where I've been
I actually started crying when the meaning of the words set in—it was like a light bulb had turned on and I realized that I CAN beat this awful disease. I know that not every day will be easy, but I’ve got to take a chance and dive deeper into recovery. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget those awful days when my ED was controlling my life—but honestly, I don’t think I want to. Those memories will serve as a painful reminder to me to never go down that path again. I’ve come too far to let my ED beat me to the ground and tell me I’m worthless. I’m not quite sure where I’m going yet, but I give thanks to God because I know exactly where I’ve been.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Is Planning My Meals the Same as Restricting?

I haven’t really restricted in a long time—at least not the way I used to. Sometimes I eat less—because I’m not hungry—but I don’t eat teeny tiny amounts. However, I admit to still being obsessed with calorie counting. Right now, my magic number seems to be 1300—a number I can maintain my current weight at. I’ll also admit to still being underweight, but only by about 8 lbs and my doctor approved of my weight at my last visit so I think I’m okay.
So basically, I plan my meals ahead of time. Sometimes a day ahead, oftentimes a week ahead. I try to convince myself it’s because I’m in college and I have to keep my food supply in check, but I honestly think it’s my ED speaking up again. But maybe not.
I plan exactly what I’m going to eat at each meal and write it down somewhere. I take into account how many calories it is when I add everything together. Breakfast and lunch must be 300 each, snacks about 100-150 each (I have two a day) and dinner usually ends up being 350. Of course, this doesn’t add up to 1300—it’s always about 50-150 calories less. Is this a problem? I’m not sure, but I think that if I continually eat 100 calories less than I need, I will lose weight, albeit slowly.
So I try to eat 1300 calories (it doesn’t always happen), but then I also think about exercising, too. Some remnants of my ED remain—I do a couple hundred sit-ups a day and jogging in place for a few minutes a day, too. Plus, being a college student, I have to walk everywhere, so I probably get in at least a half hour of walking on a school day. I’m honestly not quite sure how much I’m actually burning. Of course, my anorexia tells me it’s not enough, but the real me thinks I probably should eat a bit more.
Do you plan meals, too? Do you take into account calories when planning? Is it a problem, or does it help you stick with a plan?

Back to My Real Life

Tomorrow it’s back to my real life…school. I had such a good month-long break from it, and I’m slightly dreading going back. Well, I don’t mind school, it’s my roommate who I can’t stand. We’ve never really gotten along—she’s a terrible communicator, messy (I’m pretty neat) and inconsiderate of my needs and feelings. At the beginning of the school year, we used to go to dinner together, but she teased me for my food choices (much healthier than hers, despite her being a vegetarian). Obviously, this isn’t a good situation for anyone, but especially for someone recovering from an eating disorder, like I am. Plus she talks about how skinny she is occasionally and it really makes me mad. Honestly, I wish I could tell her about my ED, but I don’t think she’s deserving enough to know. I don’t want to tell the world, only the people that really matter to me. Plus, my overall anger with her just stresses me out and makes my disordered thoughts even worse. I need to get out of this situation before it makes my ED flare up again.
This semester, I’m vowing to spend less time back in the room, so I can avoid her as much as possible. She’s not one of those popular-girl types who parties and such (I would actually prefer that) so she tends to stay in the room a lot. And she never goes home on the weekends even though she lives 30 miles away, so the weekends I stay here, I’m forced to be here with her. I want to make this semester better, so I’m going to try to hang out with my actual friends more and even just spend some alone time somewhere other than my room. I know it’s not fair, but I’m going to try to make the best of it. I want to make it through second semester without slipping. I’ve made so much progress; the last thing I need is to go back to my ED…it doesn’t control me anymore!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Stepping out of My Shadow

If you haven't read My Story yet, I'll fill you in on the basics. I am an 18-year-old girl who started college in the fall of 2010 and I have anorexia. I was "diagnosed" with it in March of 2009 and have been slowly recovering ever since. My weight has fluctuated a bit, but remains steady around 90 lbs (I am 5'1). At my lowest point, I was a 16-year-old, lost and confused, weighing 76 lbs and restricting my calories to about 700-800 per day. I was constantly cold, tired and hungry. But I still felt fat and unloved, despite my close relationship with my family. I felt cut off from the world, but my ED made me feel stronger...or so I thought.
I have dealt with a nutritionist, therapist and a pediatrician and I've come out of the experience ready to make peace with myself and my body. I still struggle with eating disordered thoughts, I am somewhat orthorexic (I try to only eat healthy, low-fat things) and of course, I still don't like my body most days. But everyday, I keep pushing up the long hill towards recovery. I don't want to slip back down again. I'm ready to step out of the shadow that I was and let my life shine.