Tag Archives: Eating disorder

Motivation Monday :)

It is that time again for some Monday motivation!!

Today my guest is my beautiful friend, Carolee.  I met Carolee 6 years ago this week (wow, has it already been that long?)!  We were both in an interesting part of our lives, and really ready for healing and freedom from many life issues that were holding us back.
As we got to know each other we would sometimes workout together.  Those workouts were mostly walking, and sometimes lifting weights.  As we both moved on with life and ended up in different states we stayed in touch.  I remember the day we chatted and she said she ran a few miles.  She was amazed at herself and I was SO proud of her!  Fast forward a few years and she is now training for a MARATHON!!! I am so thrilled for her!  This past weekend she did a 22 miler and I could not be more proud of her! She has overcome SO much and it has been an honor and a privilege to see her grow, face her fears and become even more courageous! She is also a very gifted writer, so here is what she has to say:

       It is 6:45 on a Saturday morning. While the rest of my family sleeps, I am trying on various rain coats, filling up water bottles, and triple checking to make sure I have everything I need for my long run. The conditions are less than ideal, but I have done this routine enough times now I could more than likely do it with my eyes closed. And at times they probably are, because to say that I got a full four hours of sleep last night would definitely be reaching. I feel queasy and out of sorts due to the lack of sleep, as well as slightly bloated from carb-loading last night, but the extensive mileage requires extra fuel. Outside, the sky is threatening to unleash its storehouses, which have long been withheld this winter. I am definitely NOT looking forward to the potential of being thoroughly soaked once I step outside, but you know what? Despite all of my entirely valid excuses not to venture out today, I cannot wait to conquer each and every one of those 22 miles. All winter long I have been training for moments just like these. Will it be uncomfortable? Yes! Will it be challenging? I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t, but I know I have what it takes to overcome the difficulties I am sure to face on the course. I have encountered similar struggles on past runs and have prevailed, so while the obstacles might look different, ultimately this will be just another day at the park! My main objective is to take it one step, one mile, one run at a time. I can do this!
       Now before you think I’m this beast who eats nails for breakfast and can climb Mount Everest in a single bound, let me tell you I wasn’t always this way. It is quite humorous to me that I now find myself running to face my giants, much like David as he conquered Goliath, because it wasn’t all that long ago I more or less resembled Saul, the king of Israel, who cowered in his tent when the giant reared his ugly head. Once upon a time I was afraid of everything.  Bridges, mountains, spiders, eating, not eating, getting sick, people, people I love getting sick, living, dying.  You name it I was more than likely terrified of it and I would do almost anything to avoid situations where I had to face those fears. I lived a structured, controlled, and isolated, or in other words, BORING and empty life. My hope was to avoid the pain and heartache often associated with being human, but despite my best efforts, difficult situations still arose; people around me died, I got sick, we moved, friendships ended, etc., etc. Through it all though, I learned a valuable lesson. I could sit in my tent, hiding under my blankets, waiting to die, which will eventually happen to us all any way, or I could go down to the river, grab a handful of rocks, and boldly run out to slay that giant! I often said to myself (in various situations), “This is either gonna go really well or it’s not, but regardless I refuse to be harassed by this monster (Fear) a moment longer!”  It required faith, courage, and yes, the risk that it might not work out, but what if it did? What if I did get set free of an eating disorder, depression, and anxiety (which did in fact happen)? What if I did get that job? What if I did get into that school? What if I can run a marathon, climb Half Dome/Preikestolen, cook for well known public figures, jump out of airplanes, write a book, be a mom? When you conquer Fear the possibilities become endless. Kris Vallotton, a pastor at Bethel Church in Redding, Ca, often talks about how the dogs of doom sit at the doorway of your destiny. Fear might look menacing, but it’s just a scare tactic meant to keep you from moving forward, because if you look closely enough you will see that the dogs have no teeth 🙂 You have been given a sword (the word of God), so “Swing away Meril! Swing away!” (to quote the movie “Signs”) Just imagine all the good things God has waiting for you on the other side.  Trust me it will be beyond your wildest dreams 🙂

Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11

I am so proud of you Carolee, and I will be cheering for you SO loud on marathon day!!! ❤

Soon after Carolee and I met 🙂
On a trip where we met up for another friend’s wedding
Carolee and her adorable niece!

Eating Disorder Awareness Week!

It is Eating Disorder Awareness Week! It is a week that holds a very special place in my heart.  I will share my story a little later this week…but today I want to share a story from my dear friend Elizabeth!  We ‘met’ when we were both in a rough place of life, and I know we have both come a long way since 2006! I am so proud of the work she has done, and I am thankful that she keeps working to be healthier!

Elizabeth’s story:
I’ve been known to tell people that I ran my way out of anorexia. I struggled with an eating disorder for about three years before I started running. At first, running was merely a way to burn calories, but gradually I started to love it. As my daily and weekly mileage increased, I started eating more. I had to–I couldn’t starve myself and run the mileage I wanted to. That was the way things continued for several years; I ate “just enough” to sustain the running I loved, and if you had asked me then, I would have said I was recovered from an eating disorder.
    No matter what I did, though, I couldn’t make myself eat more than a certain number of calories each day. Even while training for a marathon three separate times, I would not allow myself to eat more than a specific number of calories each day. I had a mental block about eating more than that number–a holdover from my years of being anorexic. People tried to gently encourage me to eat more, but I was terrified. To me, eating THAT many calories would signal a loss of control and guaranteed weight gain. Deep down I knew they were right and I needed to eat more, but I kept putting it off.
    In January of last year, my dear friend Esther told me about the 24-hour burn test that she had taken. She suggested that I try it, “just to see. You may find out that you burn a lot more calories than you think.” I decided to give it a try, and I was shocked at the results. I burned a lot more calories in a day than I thought…and that was on a day when I wasn’t running! I was in the middle of training for a half-marathon at the time, with plans to run 3-4 more over the course of this year, and the burn test clearly showed that I was eating way too little for the amount of exercise I was doing. I realized that I had to start eating more, as much as it scared me.
    That was eight weeks ago. On the advice of both Esther and my nutritionist, I stayed away from the scale for the first six weeks and increased my calories gradually. The first couple weeks were very hard for me emotionally, because eating that much quite honestly terrified me, but I started seeing a physical difference almost immediately. I had more energy and didn’t feel exhausted all the time. I’ve struggled with insomnia for years, and that started to get better as I ate more. Also, my running improved: I had the ability to run faster and longer after just a couple weeks of eating more.
    When I weighed myself after six weeks, I was pleasantly surprised: I had only gained 3 pounds, which I knew was probably all muscle (based on the amount of training I was doing). More than anything, though, I knew that eating more was the best possible thing for me because I felt so much better. It’s been a difficult transition, and there have been times when the old eating-disordered thoughts try to resurrect themselves and torment me, but I know that I’m healthier and happier now, and much closer to making a full recovery than I was when I wasn’t eating more than a certain number of calories each day.
    I’ve learned over the past eight weeks that listening to my body is the most important thing I can do; when I’m hungry, I should eat, regardless of what time of day it is or if I’m over my calorie “limit” or not. Taking those restrictions off myself has given me so much peace and a greater sense of freedom. I think I’m a better runner and overall a nicer person to be around now that I’m not hungry all the time!

ElizabethNashvilleElizabeth and I from the Nashville half marathon in 2010!

True beauty!!

(Side note…I am a little behind with my posts due to my husband having heart surgery and being in the hospital for a few weeks, and then my computer broke! Ahh.  Be back to normal soon!)

Today the challenge for Elf4Health was to be make-up free! It really got me thinking…
I don’t really ever wear make-up to work. Mornings are not my favorite and since I am with little ones all day, it doesn’t make sense to me to even bother putting any on. Yoga pants and sweatshirts are what I usually wear too. I am all about being comfy!
As I scrolled through the pictures that were popping up on Facebook, twitter and instagram, my heart was happy with all the beautiful faces that I was seeing! Some, like me, don’t wear much make-up, and then there were others who found it more challenging to go make-up free. Whatever the case, I could tell that each and every person was beautiful!
Over the last few years I have really learned more about what beauty really means to me. As a result of some painful events early on in life, I struggled with terrible self-esteem issues, and even a horrible eating disorder for most of my life (20 of my 32 years). I am really thankful that I have been able to heal from those events, and learn to see myself, and others differently! I have been blessed to learn the valuable lesson that beauty is more than just what someone looks like! Yes, I feel all my friends are beautiful, but it goes deeper than the smile on their faces. It comes from the heart, the depth of friendship, and how people sacrificed so much to contribute to my life in big and small ways! My life has turned from shattered darkness into a beautiful light!
If you look in the mirror and might not like what you see, please remember that you are indeed beautiful!! You are worth SO much more than being a certain size or looking a certain way! You are a stunning masterpiece who was made to shine!!!
No matter what I am wearing, or if I have makeup on or not…I am ALWAYS beautiful! I am very thankful for all those in my life who remind me of that often!!

(I know I am missing MANY people, but this is what I had to work with today….Know that if you are in my life you are very important to me, and I am so blessed by you!)

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