When fear foods become favorite foods; my journey to weight restoration.

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* disclaimer! I am not a healthcare professional. I would highly advise  seeking out a medical help before attempting any method of recovery.*

Summer break is here!  What an incredible semester it has been! Out of every semester I’ve had in college I will say that mentally and emotionally was one of the most challenging!  Just before midterms I found myself completely overwhelmed between the stress of classes, a promotion at work, and health issues … my body had had enough! For the entire semester, Outside of school and work,  I found myself in bed either sick or in pain.  It was honestly like being inside of a mental prison.

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Earlier in the semester I had battled another heart issue that sent me to the ER. I later found out that it was due to an infection caused by part of a tooth left in my head by a previous dentist along with what is known as refeeding syndrome.  Refeeding syndrome is when someone with an eating disorder begins to gain weight and introduces new foods into their system. The body reacts in shock and various things can occur that can be detrimental to someone’s health.  For me, my heart felt like it was going to explode. Literally, it felt like someone reaching from my back, grabbed my chest and squeezed my heart. However, that’s the price I pay for hurting my body through malnourishment.  As I mentioned in my last post I was dealing with a lot of muscular issues, and I finally had to stand up to myself. I took a professor’s advice and dropped a course that was incredibly stressful which postedponed my summer graduation (for my AA). thankfully I did that because had I stayed with it there’s no way I would’ve been able to keep up with classes. To be honest, by the end of the semester I was so done with looking at books that it was hard for me to focus on my assignments let alone remember half of what I read. Thankfully, by the hand of God I made it through!

Meanwhile, I began to get really, and I mean REALLY serious about my recovery. After doing some research  on the topic, I came across an Instagram picture posted by someone who is been a huge icon in the recovery community, Miss Julia Grigorian from dropsofjules.com  in the picture she stated that she was going to do a blog post about the method that she chose for recovery and why she would definitely do it again. I quickly went to the post, read it, scanned over some of the other posts that she talked about that method in, and did a Google search  to find more information on the pros and cons of using it.  That method was the Minni Maud method.  The details  of this method can be found at your eatopia  . Anywho,  I was praying and I didn’t know exactly how to approach this. Due to years of restriction, my body had developed sensitivities to various foods like wheat, soy, etc. however, the night that I decided that I was going to do this, my neighbor came over and asked my  mom if she would like a pizza for my nephew and her.  She gladly excepted and told him what toppings she wanted. He offered to buy me some as well. I kindly turned him down explaining that I had food sensitivities (excuses excuses).

That evening, I was scheduled to talk with my dear friend Emily about weight gain and the side effects on her podcast.  Inside, I wanted so badly to be free. Here I was trying to recover and setting example for those in the recovery community as well and I could not even get myself to eat a piece of pizza! I had eaten a salad and was going to eat something a little heavier afterwords for dinner. However, I was really craving that pizza!  I was craving it so bad, I could almost taste the pepperoni and sausage! Anxiety set in  and I began to text back-and-forth with Emily to prepare for the podcast. I told her that I was dealing with the food fear,  she asked if she could call me, and when we talked she was so kind and helped to calm my nerves.  We went into the podcast, and prayed afterwards. When we hung up the phone, I went straight in to see a pizza delivered at on my kitchen table! The first question I asked my mom was if I could have a piece and she smiled really big and said , “of course!”  That one piece turned into 2 1/2 pieces of pepperoni and sausage pizza. For dessert, chocolate cheesecake! There, begin my true entry into real recovery !

In the days following that I found myself eating  500-600+ cal breakfast two  300+ cal snacks, 500 to 600+ cal lunches,  and 500 to 600+ cal dinners allll followed by 350-400+  cal desserts!  Or some days that I eat 3000 cal, some days that I ate well over that, and some days I just slightly under.  I’ll be honest, the weight came on really fast along with depression, headaches, and exhaustion.  My body was not used to having all those things and was quickly trying to adjust. I found out later in researching that the exhaustion and headaches are due to the body trying to heal.  I could feel an internal burning, like a furnace had been turned up inside of me. I found out that it was also part of recovery because my body had to speed up my metabolism in order to be able to fully except all the calories that were being taken in!  Finally, after just two weeks of doing the method, I had finally reached the weight that my doctor wanted me to be at, even a few pounds more.   While I am now currently technically weight restored,  certain things still are not functioning and the way that they should  (my period is still MIA), so I’m trying my best to stick with it. I will be honest and say that I’ve had some days where I haven’t had the 2,500 -3,000 cal  that I should still be having until that takes place. However, I’m finding that I have a lot more freedom mentally that I’ve had in years! While don’t do any exercises outside of what my physical therapist has prescribed for me,  I still enjoy food that I wouldn’t even touch when I was exercising !  I have returned to eating gluten-free because I feel that’s what my body needs.  With that I’ve decided to keep eating pancakes, high calorie salads loaded with goodies,  dark chocolate, lots of popcorn, gluten-free cake, and much more.  Since I’ve gone back to that the headaches have seem to go away.   That being said, I want to continue with this until I know my body is ready to move on!

For any of you are reading this, if you’re seeking out a recovery method, I highly recommend this one. It does require that you refrain from all exercise. However, you have to remember that in exercise you’re tearing muscles and your body has to repair them. So, if you’re exercising when you’re trying to recover and have nothing to repair your muscle  with, then you’re defeating the purpose of exercise and ultimately destroying your body. Something you might want to think twice about. Again I’m not a healthcare professional yet, I am going to school for that, and I highly recommend that you speak with your doctor before attempting this.

Now,  before I go I’ll share something I’m currently struggling with. While I have reached a good weight, I desire to be able to work out again. My physical therapist and Chiropractor want me in the pool  to help me regain balance and strength. Also, the strength exercises at my physical therapist has given me have caused my body to hurt at times.  I’m currently facing a summer where I would very much like some freedom in my body and be able to swim and work out again. I face the following giants in the way:

1.)  muscular issues. There’s treatment that I need that my insurance does not cover.  I currently don’t have the finances to cover it.

2.)  I need access to a good pool with good amenities such as a hot tub and sauna so that before and after I do swim therapy, I can treat my muscles with kindness so they can heal properly. A gym membership like that is quite costly.

3.)  my mom and I both work, however we are facing some financial difficulties. It’s not always easy to purchase things that we need on a daily basis.

Being said, I’m requesting prayer that the Lord either supernaturally heals me with that he provides the things that I need to get the treatment and the access to the facilities for me to be able to get my balance and strength back. Also, prayer for provision for my family and me. Ultimately,  I believe that someday I’ll run again. Please pray  that if the Lord wills, that He will release me to do so!

Another struggle a face, is body image. My body has swelled because of recovery and a lot of my clothes don’t fit me properly.  Please pray that the Lord helps me endure this and make it through to full recovery!

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Before Minnie Maud (left) Thigh gap After Minni Maud (right) Thighs touch, pants don’t fit, but definitely worth it!

Now, off to another amazing vacation! This time it’s the longest vacation I’ve had from school! Lord willing, it will be full of amazing adventures !

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Let It Be

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“Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.” Hebrews 12:17

This is a verse I’ve held onto for some time. As my journey has continued, I’ve pressed through the first few weeks of classes, praising God for each day that I’m able to get up and out of bed. I remain thankful and prayerful on the days I feel good and EXTRA prayerful on the days I don’t feel so good. In this season I’ve been going from classes to doctors appointments, to physical therapy appoinments, helping a loved one with tieing up some loose ends and mourning, trying to help mom with little guy when I can, and… getting ready to (Lord willing) perform in yet another production. While my spirit longs to race again, I found pleasure in building other parts of me! School is like a candy shop of dreams. If you have one, two, three or even more… there are classes to help you learn, grow and build them! Holding onto this verse during this season has truly helped me to see that God has had me away from the racing scene to strengthen my faith in him, rebuild the parts of me that have become weak (both physically and emotionally), and help me regain trust and confidence in Him to do what needs to be done to help my body come to full health once again. He’s even begun to restore childhood items and what not that were llost and/ or stolen over the years. Though, just material items… He knew they were special to me and used various means to have items very much like them restored to me. WOW… what an amazing Abba Father we have!
So the question still lingers… Will I return to the racing scene? Well… I’ll continue to believe God and His promise to me. Meanwhile, I choose to wake up every morning, thank God for another blessed day, praise Him for the loved ones that have seemed to have multiplied in my life lately, and pray HIS will be done because my will… only gets me in trouble =)
Now I must close… Yes, this is yet another brief blog post… however, I pray that wherever you are, if you are facing times of trouble…. know that God is near, He will rebuild what was lost. He will restore all things in such a beautiful way that you could NEVER have done it better yourself. So, give Him your dreams, give Him your desires, let it go and… in the famous words of the Beatles… “Let It Be!”

Roasted pepper turkey breast!

-1 Package Trader Joe’s thin sliced turkey breast

-1 cup “power greens mixture (includes kale and spinach)

-1/2 cup sliced red onion

-1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

-1/2 tsp chili flakes

-sea salt to taste

DIRECTIONS

preheat oven to 350 degrees, place turkey, on cookie sheet lined with foil, sprinkle veggies and seasoning over the top, wrap up in foil and let bake for 15-20 min or until cooked through. Open foil, turn on broiler and let the top get toasted for about 5 min or until slightly golden. Take out and enjoy with some steamed brown veggies or over some nice arugula or other tasty greens!10353636_10202240003480504_7860585532302140382_n

this image was taken prior to baking

From Numb To Love <3 Victories with Cookies =0)

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Numb… I guess that’s the best way to put it. After all that’s happened the battles I’ve faced…. I found myself feeling battle worn and literally numb. This week has been a week of challenges that have been tough ones to face, however, I found hope in the midst of my raging seas. The week started with xrays and me watching little guy again being that my mom could not afford child care. My attitude, this time, was much different. Instead of waiting for my mom to have to ask me to care for him, I offered. I couldn’t stand watching my mom struggle financially, carrying the weight of my unemployment and having to take me to various appointments all while not having enough income to cover her own need alongs with food for the household. I was out of foodstamps and the least I could do was take some of the financial pressure off by handling childcare regardless of my medical situation.

With days spent at home with little guy, the Lord began to teach me about love. He showed me how to relate to little guy and how to handle discipline (time outs) in love. I pushed aside my worry about pain, picked him up, held him, hugged him and tickled him cause that’s what being a little kid is about… being loved. Little guy and I ended up having a lot of fun watching veggie tales, laughing, and learning new words. Yes… he had his moments, but God helped me push through, in love regardless of the physical pain I was in at various times. Still unable to see DR. Runco until I get the results from my x-rays and MRI… things were a little iffy, however, by the grace of God I had no need for any pain reliever.

Another thing the Lord showed me (which began last week)… I was living in a constant state of fear. This fear was keeping me back from my life. There are so many things I desire to do (ie: go to school, work, get out on my own, continue the running ministry, ect.) however, I was in serious bondage to fear. I was afraid to go to school because I’d tried before and when my family and I lost our home in 2011 along with the matters concerning my troubled loved one, I suffered severe trauma and ended up having to drop everything just to attempt to find some sort of grounding. I was afraid to go out and try to work again, because of all the times I’d failed. This week, a MAJOR fear was reveled… I was afraid of people… REALLY… I mean… can you blame me? A friend of mine I worked with at a grocery store last year took me to breakfast and coffee. This was the first time I’d hung out with anyone outside of my God family and a few church events in almost a year, and I found myself nervously itching and on edge!!! WOW! When I recognized what was going on with me, I started to look back over the past few months…  every day… I was detaching myself from the emotion of each day, so afraid to love or be loved, so afraid to talk to people, waking up everyday… just trying to make it through each moment, praying to God that something would change. WHen, in reality, what needed to change was me!

I began to press into the Lord even harder! I told Him … “this may be the life that I’ve been given, and I may not like how things currently are, but I choose today to enjoy it! I surrender my health, family, friendships, ministry, finances…. I surrender it all to You! Thank you for another day Lord. No matter what, I choose to thank you!” I woke up the next morning, and right off the bat I had to make the decision to have a good day. The moment I did that, it’s as if a veil was taken off of my eyes. For the first time in a while, I began to feel again. I mean REALLY feel! I started seeing my mom, little guy and our lives through different eyes. The Lord also re-stirred the hope that I’d had a few weeks back when I’d left the harvest carnival/ magic show at Hilltop… I began to see that if I truly want to go back to school, I can. If I want to continue to run and race… I can, I just need to allow myself to heal and take in every bit of care that I can get to get me balanced and in top shape again. Ministry, I can do… Love… I CAN DO… be loved… Yes… that too! Work… I’ll dust myself off and try try try again! Why? Because I AM A CHILD OF THE MOST HIGH KING! AND IN HIM I CAN DO ALL THINGS!!! What do you know… After some prayer, thought and talking with my upstairs neighboe… I began to take steps in the direction that I feel the Lord is calling me. Will it be school, work, how will I return to health… well, stay tuned as God begins to unfold. For now… it’s all rather “hush hush” (as they say on Veggie Tails =)

Now, as we head into the weekend, I just want to encourage you… no matter what you’re facing.. weather it’s fear of failure, seemingly impossible circumstances, loss of job, loss of a loved one, broken relationships, broken dreams… GOD IS BIGGER!!! HE IS STRONGER!!! JESUS (FIRST AND FOREMOST) has been there and paved the way, having suffered every imaginable pain including death so we could be free to live!!! Today, I’ll close in a prayer and… of course, leave you a recipe to fill your taste buds with =0)

Lord,

I thank you for all that you’ve done for us! You know the things that the person(s) reading this is (are) dealing with. You know the ups and downs, the trials and tribulations, and still…Heavenly Father… you’ve seen the FINISH LINE! I pray that You would stretch out your hand and comfort them! Send forth your Holy Spirit along with Your angelic hosts into their lives, homes, and every place they dwell to bring healing in their minds, bodies, relationships, hearts or any other place needed, to rescue the loved ones of theirs that need you, to bring provision where there is lack, hope in hopelessness, freedom from fears and bondages and peace that surpasses all understanding! For those who are unsaved, I pray that you will rescue them, help them to find you I thank You Lord that you ALREADY have the victory! I give this now into Your hands to act according to Your will! In your Son’s Heavenly name I pray…Amen!

Now, for the recipe

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SMALL BATCH GLUTEN FREE BANANA NUT BREAD COOKIES
(makes 7 cookies)
~Ingredients~
1 cup brown rice flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
A pinch of salt
1 egg white
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup organic raw sugar
1/4 heaping cup mashed ripe banana
1/4 cup crumbles wall nuts (optional)

~Directions~
Preheat oven to 350° spray a cookie sheet lightly with butter flavored cooking spray. Place 7 spoonfuls of dough evenly onto sheet (may make more or less depending on scoop sizes). Bake for 10-15 min (or until edges are slightly golden brown) on MIDDLE oven rack. Set out to cool and serve with your morning coffee or fresh out of the oven with some vanilla fro yo and caramel drizzle!

Don’t Let it Drop

Video

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=r9eRUXficRw

Have you ever had a prayer that you thought was answered, and as it turns out things went the opposite direction? Well, in recent events I had one of those. Someone I care for deeply, who my family and I have prayed for and interceded for, for a long,long time decided to take a destructive path once more. Signs had showed up over the past few months and this past week, it was very clear and very obvious what was going on. In the midst of it, my mom and I have continued to pray and intercede for the lives of others as well as our circumstances. Ministry began to pick up for my ministry partner, and I thought it would be a good idea to pick up extra tasks at church even though the Holy Spirit has prompted me time and time again to focus strictly on what he has lead my god mother and me to do. With my hand full of bible studies, personal studies, training, helping my god mom, trying to help provide within my home, switching into another house sit, dealing with the worries concerning my troubled family member, volunteer commitment at church, races…. Finally…. I did miss the mark. I began to feel overtired, drained and, began to wine and complain…. Wow! I dropped the volunteer work at church last week due to issues with the troubled loved one, and this week, I tried to make it on time, but failed. Good thing is… God was speaking to me all along.. Telling me to stay focused on the task. A bible study is a wonderful thing,…. I’ll continue with it. Meanwhile, I need to remain saturated in the word in my own quiet time. Volunteering within the church walls is ok (for me) on occasion, however… There are things I need to stay focused on in order to accomplish what I just called me to that don’t always leave me available to that. So, I need to take the path The Lord has shown me and stick with it. Dealing with troubled loved ones… Well, that is something I need to do in prayer, keeping my boundaries set for my safety and sanity and… Keep believing that God is working. Helping my god mom… Well I feel that it’s what Lord has for me to do right now. Finally, training and racing…. I put Christ first and he continues to show me that racing is where I need to stay focused. Why expose all of this? Well… I want to let you all know that whatever you’re dealing with, whatever trial you’re facing, whatever prayer that doesn’t seem to be answered, whatever pressures you’re facing from the left or the right, whatever unnecessary tasks you’ve added to your plate, get quiet, get before God, and He will remove excess that doesn’t need to be there, He will take away the added pressures, the worries, the tension, and give you clear direction and victory so that in the end, by His power… You won’t drop the ball! Have a blessed week!

*RECIPE*
CREAM CHEESE OAT CLUSTERS

Clusters
-1 cup of rolled oats
-1 cup brown rice or spelt flour
-2/3 cup nonfat or low-fat Greek yogurt
-1/3 cup fresh ground peanut butter or almond butter slightly a bathroom temperature
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-2/3 cup raw sugar
-1tbs. Cocoa powder

Cream Cheese Icing
-1 8oz package of low-fat or fat-free cream cheese
-1 cup extra fine raw sugar (I avoid powdered because it has starch in it)
-1tsp vanilla
-3-4 drops of orange food coloring of your choice (optional)

Directions
~Cluster Centers~
Mix peanut or almond butter together with sugar, vanilla and cocoa powder until creamy and smooth. In a separate bowl, mix oats and flour of choice. Then, mix all ingredients together. Lay wax paper on a cookie sheet and create little 1& 1/2 inch balls out of dough. When finished, place in fridge for one hour to chill

~Cream Cheese Icing~
Let cream cheese set out unt ill room temp. Mix in sugar, vanilla and food coloring.

Finally, ice each cluster, set on wax paper. Refrigerate for at least another hour (even better if over night) then enjoy!