I am into the second week of my new adventure, Couch 2 Healthy.  Everyday is a new topic.  Yesterday was Bad Habit Thursday.  We focus on a habit and try to give you ideas to make healthy changes in your life.  This week we dealt with smoking.  Although, I have never smoked a day in my life, it is very dear to my heart.  Many of my family members smoke.  No matter what your addiction, it is never too late to quit.

I may not be able to relate to the hardship of quitting smoking but I do understand what it is like to have an addiction.  What I have learned the hard way, is that you can never break the cycle for someone else, they have to want it for themselves.  I went into the recovery from my eating disorder with the intent of doing it for “my husband”.  I didn’t like the fact that my eating disorder hurt him and was willing to finally do something about it “for him”. The problem was, it was all a lie.  I started saying what people wanted to hear.  I started binge eating when alone. I started to feel worse about myself than I had before I decided to “get help”.  I even quit seeing a counselor stating “it was time for me to do it on my own”.  Truly, I just didn’t want to face the eating disorder nor was I ready to give it up. It was my security blanket and I was holding on…..TIGHT!

But Thursdays are my day to remember that we all have bad habits.  We all need to focus on something and whatever that something is, we can become healthier without it.  My security blanket was not keeping me secure, it was smothering me.  Sucking the very life out of me that I so desperately want to have.

What is holding you back from HEALTHY? If the answer is “ME”, now is the time to step to the side and allow the healing process to healthy begin.  For you it may be a cigarette, for me it is negative body image but for both of us it is killing us!  I am not a quitter and I will not quit on ME now.

Join the conservation at

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Thinking Differently After My Half

Got up this morning way before the sun

Laced up my shoes and started to run

I knew I was going to continue until I was done

But a smile crossed my face as I passed one

This is when I start thinking of other things to do

But I’m brought back to reality when I pass two

Off the road and running between the trees

I was super excited when I saw three

Body fading and not sure I can do more

A little shot of energy when I pass four

Running makes my body feel alive

I cannot believe I am at five

Approaching six I start to smile

I get to turn around in ½ a mile

I hope that I could die and go to heaven

But I look up and I’ve made it seven

My body’s shutting down as I approach eight

I am afraid I may have sealed my fate

Passed by a marathoner as I pass nine

Damn he is still running fine

When I see the marker that says ten

I know I will finish but I definitely won’t win

I am excited to see the eleven flag

I realize I have this half in the bag

Passing twelve and back to the park I head

Even running downhill my legs feel like lead

At thirteen I am finally having fun

Goal is to see I fast I can run

Cross the line and I can hear the crowd

But happiest because I am finally proud.

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WHO KNEW that doing the hard work would be so hard?  Definitely not me.  I am always looking for the answers on the back, trying to find the easily solution by using the calculator.  Sad part is I always end up having to go back and do the hard work.  So why is it that I continue to try to skirt around the issues and claim victory over TED, my journey and most importantly my life?  I feel like I should be there by now!  I constantly look at where I have been and I know I have come a long way.  I no longer use food to punish yet it is still my enemy.  My addiction to purging is gone, yet I still find nights where I am curled up next to the toilet like it is a long lost friend. WHY?  Why can’t I see the hard work and progress that I have done and just keep moving forward.  I keep hearing about this light at the end of a tunnel, yet that light just flickers for me.  I reach toward it and somehow smother the light and it goes out.  It’s like my life is sucking the oxygen out of the tunnel and it is dark again. But when I do finally see the light again, I feel like it is so far away and unreachable.

WHO KNEW that issues that are mole hills to most are like climbing Mt. Everest for me?  You look at me and I know what you are thinking.  Why is it that your look means something different to you than it does to me?  You talk to me and I hear what you are saying.  Why do I twist what you are saying so that your words sound harsh?  I do not know.  This is how my thought process works.  Compliments seem like jabs to the gut.  I always say that I process things a little differently thanks to TED, but why am I blaming TED?  Is it really his fault?  You said I Love You and is it truly TED who puts conditions on that or is it me?  Is it TED who convinces me that I will never be good enough or is it really me? I say I have done the hard work to take away TEDs power yet I give it back daily.  Maybe I need to stop blaming TED that my world “inside my head” is F’d up and start taking responsibility for myself.  Maybe blaming TED is my way of saying it’s not my fault I am this way.  It’s hard to fail when it is not your fault.

WHO KNEW that loving myself would be the hardest part.  How can I look in the mirror and I like what I see but hate it at the same time?  How can I step on a scale and know that the number is “healthy” but curse it for being that high? When do I get to step back and take a breath and just smile.  Smile at the victories I have made along the way, even the small ones that most do not notice.  Smile at the people who have come into my life to help me on this journey without pushing them away.  Smile at where my life is heading knowing that I will do my best to derail the progress. I am so tired. I am tired of walking on this journey, tired of running away from my issues, and tired of trying to find myself.

I wanna be a quitter:

  1. I want to quit setting perfection as my standard.
  2. I want to quit undermining my progress.
  3. I want to quit looking at myself through my eyes and see what everyone else sees.

I just ask that you do not quit on me because I am not ready to do this on my own, YET!

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2012 Was About The Lessons!

2012 was very good to me and taught me many lessons:

1.)   No matter what I am going through, Jimmy is my rock. He truly is my Knight in Shining Armor. I have learned to let my guard down for the first time in 42 years. I know that I have imperfections and I need not be afraid that these imperfections will push him away. Instead, I must focus on eliminating my shortcomings by turning them into strengths. I now know that when I am falling, I am not falling alone. We fall and climb back up together, hand in hand, heart in heart. I love you Jimmy with my whole heart and soul. Thank you for being there for me during this year and for many years to come.

2.)   If you put your mind to it, it can be accomplished. I chose to live a life free of TED and it feels amazing. If you told me one year ago, that it was my CHOICE whether to keep TED in my life or let it go, I would have laughed at you. It was no choice. I had so many excuses as to why I couldn’t let go of it. But once I truly realized that it was MY choice, I started to see that there were many more important things going on around me that I could change too. By making the choice, I won the battle. Yes I still struggle. Yes I still have thoughts of “what if”. But what I know is that I will NEVER make the choice to let it back in. Relapse is not an option this year or any future year.

3.)   Do something, even if you are scared. I have met the best group of friends at River Run Club. I am encouraged every day to give 100%. We have girls that ran 1000 and 1200 miles THIS YEAR! Not sure that is an attainable goal for me but I definitely want to see what I am capable of. They have pushed me to get out of my head and just let my body run. I have cried on some of these runs because I realized that I was holding myself back from accomplishing goals, not only in running but in my life. I was scared of success and did not want to set myself up for failure. I have learned from this group that it is not important the time in which you finish, what is important that you celebrate the fact that you finished. Thank you for helping me see the finish line in my life. I will be forever grateful!

LOOKING AHEAD: Now I know that good things are going to happen in 2013 and many new lessons will be learned. But this year, I promise to not forget the lessons already learned and build on them instead of destroying them and starting over from the beginning. I changed in 2012. And this change is going to allow me to enjoy each new year in a whole new light.

My New Year’s Resolution – live this year to its fullest. I will not hold myself back. I will keep looking forward even when I am scared and most importantly I will hold the hand of the man I love through it all. For the first time in my life, I TRULY feel like I am not alone!

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How do you handle failure?

What I am learning while training for my Half is that there are many small goals that are set to help get me to the end goal. Because of my eating disorder, I struggle living in a world of gray. I have always claimed that all issues/goals are black and white. Therefore, if the plan says run 4.5 miles on Tuesday, then it must be done on Tuesday or not at all. Oh, yeah, I have an all or nothing issue also.

So how do you adjust your mindset when there are so many chances to prove “you can’t do this.” This is what I am trying to learn how to do. Each week, I am given a mileage goal to meet to ensure I am able to finish my Half in January. But life sometimes gets in the way. What happens if I don’t run my 4.5 on Tuesday? Did I fail? What if I go out and have area really good 4.5 mile run on Wednesday? Does that make up for not going out on Tuesday? So what about the next run, what if I don’t do it at all, but I go out on the weekend and have a Great long run of 6 miles have I failed or succeeded?

Previously these would all be failures, even the great runs. In my mind, because I was not able to do them on the day they were scheduled, I failed. When I fail, I quit.

So why not now? What has changed in my way of thinking that allows me to get up and keep running?  I have come to realize that TED was the perfectionist, not me. TED required me to set unrealistic goals so that he could watch me Fail and be there to comfort me when it happened. He willingly would give me a rope to watch me hang myself.

But now I am in control. I control my thoughts and my actions. Although these thoughts still pass through, I no longer allow this negativity to paralyze me. I have learned that failing at something does not make you a failure. You never fail until you stop trying.

So now I will lace up my shoes and go for a run. If I don’t reach my goal mileage, I have not failed. If I have to walk a portion, I have not failed. When you realize that you don’t have to base your life successes on whether you failed, you can finally live your life to the fullest and be Happy with the finish….no matter what it took to get there.

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Running is Time For Reflecting

Look at me now! Who would have thought that 11 months ago I was so absorbed by my eating disorder that I did not know how to live my life. I always judged my life by the accomplishments I did and more importantly, I celebrated my failures because it allowed me to remain stuck in my eating disorder. I have had many ups and downs this year, but I am so proud of all of the changes that have happened in order for me to believe that recovery was possible. I am just sad that I have wasted the last 30 years of my life but looking forward to the next 30.

One of the big changes in my life is the fact that the scale no longer runs my life. It was not unusual for me to weigh myself up to ten times a day. I am happy to say I went two weeks without even touching a scale. It is very freeing to know that I am capable of making choices in my life without knowing the number. During this journey, a friend sent me a picture that said “you are more than just a number”. I allowed that number to hold me back from living my life to its fullest. Now, I am not even sure what the number is and I am totally okay with that.

This leads me to today. I am now in Week 5 training for my first Half Marathon. I will be running the Tinker Bell half at Disneyland in January. I am running with a charity called TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors). I am part of the Run and Remember Team. So today I was out doing my 4.5 mile run. Today, I decided to change up the route I had been running. My first mile was the same, but I decided to run in the nearby cemetery. I turn in and continue my run through the windy roads. I begin to notice all the headstones that have American Flags. I begin to read them as I pass. It hits me that even though I do not know if these were Fallen Soldiers, there are many headstones from members of our military. I am running for all of these men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for my freedom – motivation to keep running!

My mind drifts to Spc. Joel A Ramirez. This is the Fallen Soldier who I am running in honor of. He died of wounds suffered on April 16, 2011 in Ahmid-Khan, Afghanistan, when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. Two other soldiers were killed in this attack. How can I quit? Joel never got to quit, he sacrificed every day – motivation to keep running!

I turn the bend and the wind is in my face. It can be very difficult to run in Chicago. They do not call it the windy city for nothing. I begin to think about all of the brick walls I have run into and eventually overcame to get where I am today. I remember all of the negative things I would normally tell myself to make me quit. Now, I find that I talk to myself a lot when I run alone. I am constantly telling myself not to give up, do not quit, or other motivational phrases hoping they work. I realize that even though I still have eating disorder thoughts, I have learned how to live my life! My eating disorder does not control me anymore – motivation to keep running!

I believe at about 3.5 miles I start to hallucinate as I started talking to a butterfly that seemed to be flying along just ahead of me. I told the butterfly “I’m coming. I am trying to keep up”. I realize I might seem a little crazy talking to a butterfly, but it seems to work for me – motivation to keep running!

Before I knew it, I had reached my distance for the day. Maybe the distraction is all I needed to achieve success, but I feel like previously distraction is what I counted on to justify keeping my eating disorder. Oh how times have changed. I realized again today that there are so many things that are more important than choosing to keep my eating disorder. Many Americans have given their lives, definitely more important. I have overcome so many obstacles to get here, definitely more important. Living my life and not cowering from it, definitely more important.

I truly can say, I feel like I am going to be able to “Triumph From TED”!

PS: I have set a goal to raise $1000 for TAPS. Please click the link below to donate to a good cause.

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I have been video blogging!

Wondering why there have not been any blogs lately. I actually have been video blogging, and have not yet figured out how to get them attached to here. I see there is a link but unable to get it to work for me. I will keep trying! If you want to follow the video blogs, feel free to check them out on my FB page

But here is an update on what I am doing!

Have you heard? I am hard at work training for the Disney Tinkerbell Half Marathon events taking place on January 19-20, 2012 at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

My training and running will be special, however. I will be running in support of our nation’s surviving military families by participating with the TAPS Run and Remember Team.

Donations are being accepted at

TAPS stands for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. TAPS is a wonderful and heartfelt national, non-profit veteran’s organization that reaches out to families and loved ones who have been impacted by a death of a loved one in the armed forces. The heart of TAPS is its national military survivor peer support network and its focus to help and support families, friends, and military personnel as they cope and recover.

TAPS does so much. TAPS covers every branch of the service, including the Reserves and the National Guard. TAPS’ programs and services are available not only for spouses and children, but also for parents, siblings, fiancées, and friends. TAPS offers a 24-hour crisis and information hotline, a quarterly magazine, newsletters, a website, compassionate peer support, including weekly chat lines, National and Regional Military Survivor Seminars, and also, the Good Grief Camps for the very youngest survivors… the children.

TAPS’ Survivor Seminars and Good Grief Camps give military survivors an opportunity to come together to share in a weekend of remembering, healing, and love.

This year, I will be running in memory of, Specialist Joel A Ramirez. Will you please sponsor me in the Disney Tinkerbell Half Marathon events so that TAPS can continue its mission to support to those who have been impacted by a death of a loved one in the armed forces?

Running with the TAPS Run and Remember Team is a very special way of honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation, and in helping those whom they have left behind. May God bless you and the memories of our nation’s fallen heroes.


Note: The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors [“TAPS”] is registered with the IRS as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation. TAPS Tax ID number is 92-0152268.

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