Alright everyone!! I am soo excited to start this blog! I have wanted to start one for quite some time but due to my perfectionist personality, which I constantly attempt to keep at bay like a fire that strives to rage despite firefighters efforts to squelch it, I have hesitated in starting it feeling like it was essential that my first post is so FANTASTIC that it blows everyone out of the water. Basically I decided I'd better just start it and eventually one of my blog posts will be meaningful and help some person with whatever they struggle with :). I love life! I love sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Have you lost weight? You look GREAT!

The following post was inspired by the article found at this URL

At a period in my life when I was in the midst of a terrible eating disorder and had lost a significant amount of body mass maaaany people would comment on the weight I lost and how I looked great. I remember specifically someone close to me, an older man said to me after not seeing me for a year or so how great I looked. At that time I was probably in the part of my eating disorder where I was eating a very inadequate amount of calories each day, suffering from depression, severe anxiety and the lowest of low self esteem. I was absolutely miserable. My entire life every second of every day revolved around my desire to become thinner. This comment along with the others reaffirmed my false belief that extremely skinny is superior to other sizes and reaffirmed how important it was for me to continue losing mass. I do not blame these people at all AND I am not saying that they meant or even inferred those things but because of my psychologically unhealthy state of mind, that is how I took it. What I would like to get across is to be aware when we give "compliments" like this to people that we are aware of what kind of state that person may be in. For some people it is just an "oh yeah thanks I finally found a lifestyle that is more in line with healthy living" but for many people these compliments reconfirm very harmful false ideas and mentalities.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Reality in Weakness

You want to know why I LOVE THIS?! Suffering from OCD, eating disorders, depression, abuse ANYTHING is so much worse because of the isolation. I think a HUGE thing that contributes to the isolation is the stigma against weakness. Everyone wants everyone else to think they are perfect. We all struggle and if we would be COMPLETELY open about it then wow look how much comfort and companionship we would find and enjoy which would be a GREAT facilitator of positive change!!!! If you are suffering now and aren't open about it I understand. I've been there. I want us to change the environment we live in to be accepting of REALITY, accepting of mental illness and weaknesses and the need for therapy, medication ETC. So it is easier for us who are struggling to be open and seek help because we know it is NORMAL to be messed up :) I have a dream for this world. I will work to make it a reality :)

Down to a Science

I LOVE THIS LADY'S POST!!!!!! She is in recovery from an eating disorder. What I am thinking now is how amazingly distinctly (I don't want to say similar because I feel like it is an understatement, I would venture to say exact) exact different people's experiences with eating disorders are. If that makes sense, what I am saying is that eating disorders are so similar if not exact. The thoughts, the feelings, the motivations and how the eating disorder interacts and controls us is SO SO SO exactly the same. This is a testimony to me of the devil. An eating disorder is so so perfectly calculated to be so debilitating in every way that it just has to be designed and calculated. It is. I very strongly believe it is. We loose 100% of the battles we don't know we are fighting. Ladies and Gentlemen we are fighting a battle with the devil over our happiness, self esteem and peace. Recognizing when it is him and finding the falseness we are living by is the purpose of the kind of therapy I support and LOVE AND WOULD NOT BE WHERE I AM WITHOUT IT!! :) I love you all and I hope that if you think about what your body looks like or what food you eat/don't eat more than 10% of the day you may be being lied to my the great deceiver himself. If so talk to me or someone you love about it please. You can be WAY happier than you are now. Life in recovery from and eating disorder is OH so sweet :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fantasy Marriage

I am so happy to be writing agaaaaaiiinnnn!!!!!! I have been thinking so much about posts I want to write and I am really happy to finally be writing about one.

So many people make marriage look really hard. They tell each other what to do constantly, they make fun of each or speak critically of one another in public. They are never to be seen being affectionate with each other. They don't even seem to regard each other as even friends would. I think this is the ultimate tragedy.

For me, my biggest wildest dream is to be married to someone and have an amazing relationship. And although some people speak on about the difficulty of marriage and seem to express as the defining characteristic that it is just a big struggle, I believe in what some people may call a fantasy marriage. I believe in a marriage where critical/intentionally hurtful/ negative comments are never said. I believe in a marriage where you still talk like you used to. Share things with each other, your opinions and ideas and passions. I believe in flirting and playing. I believe in all forms of physical intimacy in beautiful frequency beyond the first few years. I believe in being together because you want to be and not because you had some crazy young idea to promise you always would be. I believe in always being willing to give the other person what they want over my desires and trying hardest to meet their needs over my whims. I believe in being respectful and putting in effort every day. I believe in not expecting the emotion of love to always be there but to chose to give love through action nonetheless. I believe in an amazing marriage. I believe that it is possible if we want it bad enough. Call me naive but where will our marriages be as a people if we have expectations that are low? That we will be selfish every once and a while and that we may someday not be affectionate and that we may get sick of each other and not try as hard to love each other. If that is the goal we expect we'd better believe our marriages will fall into that state. And maybe sooner than we would have hoped. But I believe in fantasty. I believe in striving every day to do what God wants me to do and to make my man feel like the most loved most cherished most respected biggest priority to me and main focus of my efforts. Call me crazy call me an idealist but I believe in a fantasy marriage. I think we are capable of a lot more in our relationships than we may think we are. Sooo many people get married. Why would they do it if it was just going to end up sucking? I think it's not supposed to be terrible its supposed to be wonderful and if two people try hard enough I believe it will be. You have to be willing to change, to grow to be humble, to give and give and give without the stipulation of receiving. and honestly, the way I plan to have the strength and ability to have this kind of amazing relationship is to rely on Christ. I can do a really great job with my own self control on occasion and I am really good at being a loving selfless person sometimes but only through Christ will I be able to be the best wife/girlfriend I can be! That is the AMAZING thing about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because Christ has all power and has suffered for our sins he can change us. He can bless us with the grace to be the kind of people we want to be!!! I have experienced this and it is oh so sweet. I know Christ has the ability to change me. And he shall sit as a arefiner and purifier of silver Malachi (3:3). And he will make our weaknesses strengths if we rely on him because his grace is sufficient for us if we humble ourselves and have faith in him (Ether 12:27). To me THIS is one of the most glorious things about the gospel of Jesus Christ. The grace to be the kind of person I want to to be able to love the people I want to love and serve them with my whole heart and soul. I am so so so excited to strive for this goal of a fantasy marriage every day of my life! And I should probably start practicing on my siblings, companions, friends and enemies :) Love to you all!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Now What

Okayyyy so there comes a point in a person's life who has an eating disorder where you realize that your life sucks. You may be suffering from depression, anxiety and panic attacks, loss of meaningful relationships, the constant battle between two monsters one, your physiological self which is singularly focused on your desperate need for food and two your desperate need for self esteem and self worth which keeps you from giving into the overwhelming need to feed. These contradicting forces keep you from focusing on anything else. Your whole life becomes the struggle between striving for self worth and happiness through avoiding your primal need. As a result of this many of the emotional/physical/social symptoms above become the state of your day to day life. A few people who I love have lately opened up to me about their position of being right in the thick of this. It is hell. And they ask what the first step I took was in getting out of it. Although a blog post can be a poor alternative to a therapy session with a trained therapist who has experience dealing with the ins and outs of an eating disorder, I really want to post this for a lot of reasons. I hope it helps :)

The fundamental belief that enabled my escape from the trap was my belief in a source of evil in the universe. I like to call this entity satan BUT if you don't like that name all you need in order for this post to be extremely helpful, whether you are religious or not, is for you to believe that there is an evil in the world, a force of falseness that ultimately will lead you to misery. All you need to believe is that there are dichotomic forces (or even forces on a continuum if you will) be they: positive vs negative, true vs false, evil vs good. If you believe that we can continue on the same path to get off of the terrible trap you or a loved one has fallen into.

For those of you who call the evil satan, there are two scriptures that are specifically pertinent to this topic, one of which was "my eating disorder scripture" if you will :) The first is

2 Nephi 2:18

And because [satan] had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind.

Fundamental to getting over an eating disorder is recognizing that satan is in it to make us miserable. And if we don't believe in him to believe that the negativity, the falseness, the evil will lead us to misery.

The second scripture, my saving scripture (the saving principle) is

Moses 4:4

And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, THE FATHER OF ALL LIES, to deceive and to blind men...

Recognizing and coming to believe that the raging voice inside telling us that in order to be happy we need to be skinny and if we are skinny we will be loved and happy and get everything we really want is satan. It is the evil, false, negative influence in our minds telling us lies.

This is the scariest thing I have ever done. Honestly. To believe that my every thought, my every action was influenced by evil and that my every effort was backed by the most evil identity and force in the universe scared me to death.

I vividly remember when I decided to believe. I decided to try to accept that I was being influenced by satan and that EVERYTHING I strove for and held to with desperation was an illusion. In that moment I turned to Christ. I had to. I was so helpless and so hopeless and I knew I could. not. do. it. alone. In the moments and minutes and days to come I literally felt Christ carrying me. I could not have done it alone. It was too scary. It was too hard. To take a step away from what I clung to for everything, I believed in the eating disorder with everything I had, to step away from that, take steps into the darkness reaching out my hand with my single motivation being the hope that since this eating disorder was satan and Christ was the source of all goodness and truth and could get me through anything I could try to step away from satan and towards Christ and also that my life was absolutely miserable and I needed to be happy I needed to get out of it.

So I had to pray. I prayed that I would believe that everything the eating disorder was telling me, what satan was telling me, was false. Like every other deception satan (evil,falseness,negativity, whatever your source is, etc) presents to us it often resembles the truth or has a portion of truth in it but is twisted just right to become false and warped. This is the nature of the lies that make up an eating disorder. My recovery was made up of recognizing thoughts, letting those thoughts lead me to a mentality I held, recognizing the source of that mentality, and knowing the source is the FATHER OF ALL LIES, then, recognizing it was false and if not completely false, oozing with falseness that needed to be unraveled and recrafted into the tapestry that makes up my beliefs about life, self esteem, lovableness and happiness.

Only through Christ could I have the comfort and support and hope and strength to abandon my belief that the ED would give me everything I wanted and take on the amazing feat of beginning to recover from an eating disorder. If you are struggling pray. Pray that God will help you to believe that an eating disorder is the way that satan is trying to keep you from everything beautiful. Everything wonderful everything amazing and everything full of love and peace. Life after recovery from an eating disorder is gloriously wonderful. I have relationships like I never could imagine, peace of mind and soul I never thought I would ever attain and love for myself and others that never EVER EVER would be possible while being controlled by the terrible miserable addiction of an eating disorder. You can do it. Through Christ and loved ones around you you can have a happy amazing life full of love and peace.

The first step is recognizing that the idea that being skinny will give you everything is a lie.

If you are reading this, I love you :) And I. am. here. for. you. If any of you want to talk to me about this or anything else just know I am dying to talk to you about it. Just let me know. I love you and you can be free. Love Callie

Friday, July 8, 2011

Addiction 101 and Eating Disorders: Explained, continued :)

I am so happy to be writing again!! I have been on a vacation with my family in Wyoming where we went to Lava Hot Springs and jumped off huge platforms into the water. It was an awesome challenge. Then we went down the snake river and saw all the little places from my parents past. They met and fell in l-o-v-e there you see. :)

My post today is about addictions. I feel that addictions are soo common and understanding the nature of an addiction is what grants us the ability to recognize it when it attempts to grab us in its insidious claws or to fight it if it has secured a grip already. I think that turning to an addiction all begins with emotion, whether it be the absence of an emotion we desire such as peace, self love, happiness etc. or the presence of a negative undesirable emotion such as failure, discouragement, hopelessness, depression, low self esteem etc. Due to ignorance, conceivably attributed to lack of life experience or lack of proper instruction, we don’t turn to true and functional ways of dealing with the negative emotion OR, in the case of the positive emotion, don’t have the understanding of how to cultivate a lifestyle which inevitably will lead to the presence of the positive emotions in our lives. So, lacking the knowledge of how to constructively deal with/keep at bay the negative emotions and create these positive emotions respectively, we turn to sources which AT SOME POINT in our lives we have been influenced to believe will give us relief from the negative emotions and the state of happiness we seek after.

This explanation is essential to continue the post Eating Disorder: Explained. And now I will continue to explain what the eating disorder was all about for me.

Not only did I have to be perfect in every area including school, sports, relations with other people etc. but feeling emotions such as rejection, embarrassment, self consciousness, sadness, fear were signs of weakness which made me imperfect. So basically I felt as if I was failing and I couldn't feel any "negative" emotions about anything. I felt the desperate need to be perfect and the desperate need to get rid of the "negative" emotions because I wanted soo badly to feel loved and feel of worth. So I turned to the idea that being skinny would give me worth and make me lovable because of the attraction and respect it would give me among either gender. I became obsessed with being skinny because I had a desire like non other to feel loved and valid as a human being and I embraced the belief that being skinny would give me self worth and lovableness. (SIDENOTE: The thought processes I have been describing were virtually all subconscious. I will write a post soon about my conscious thoughts later.) Whenever I felt a "negative" emotion whose presence in my mind threatened my very lovability and self worth, instead of dealing with them the way I do now, which I will blog about :), I turned to the addiction of being skinny to snuff out the emotion and clung to the belief that it would give me everything that I wanted.

I was so sick of failing in every other aspect that I decided that I didn't care about failing in any other area and I would focus all my effort and energy on being perfect in that one area, being skinny. And believe me, it requires all energy and effort musterable.

Eating Disorder: Explained.

As I sit here on MY COUCH at home in Arkansas with my little brother laying on the floor with his feet on the piano bench and my mother sewing on her sewing machine while we listen to I could hold you in my arms by Ray Lamontagne it is the perfect environment for writing. lol :)

I decided I need to make another blog so that I can write about things that aren't as intense as the explanation of what this blog is supposed to be.

So I am really excited because today I am going to write about what my eating disorder was. What contributed to it and whyyyyy I would turn to behavior which seems so odd to so many people. It really makes complete sense when you lay it all out. I AM SO EXCITED!!!!! because I think if more people understood what eating disorders really are then they could take preventative action for themselves, their friends, their children etc and help those who are struggling!

Ooooookay here we go. One of the main aspects which contributed to the eating disorder was the mentality that in order to have self worth/be good enough/AND be lovable by anyone else I had to be perfect. Not just perfect in certain areas but in EVERYTHING. And an 98% was just as bad as a 15% because NOTHING but perfection was okay. Even the sliiightest weakness that caused me to be assessed as a fraction off of perfect was failure. (I have discovered through the help of an amazing friend why I developed that mentality and it is utterly fascinating. I will write about it at a later date.) So imagine (many of you don't have to imagine because you feel the exact same way), but imagine or remember what it feels like to feel like your most dire need, to feel self worth and self love and to feel loved by others is CONSTANTLY out of reach because none of us can be perfect at anything let alone in every area of our life. And imagine how it feels to be constantly attempting to reach this ideal which is literally impossible. So yeah that was really stressful. ENTER: The ideal body image/role of women mentalities. Now this next part is a little difficult to explain because I have not discovered the causes of this mentality although I have contemplated potential sources/influences so for the sake of a shorter post I will for now say that from somewhere, somehow I developed the mentality that women had a role and that role was to be attractive to men and only through magnifying that role could a woman receive all the things she really wanted. She could feel valued and loved. Somehow that morphed into not only being lovable to men but being lovable as a person in general, even to women. Related to the previous topic, from some source, which I have theories to its specific identification, I attained the belief that what was most attractive in women was a very thin body type. (This link is to an amazingly fascinating documentary that talks about how this women thinks that the media paints the role of women)

These two mentalities of exact perfectionism and a woman's worth coming from attraction and perfection in physical form combined to be the PERFECT environment for a terrible miserable addiction.

I am about to post the follow up to this post :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What is beautiful?

A few months ago when I listened to Stephanie Nielson speak about redefining "beauty" I kindof wanted her to give it a rest. I wanted her and everyone else caught up in this movement to give up on clinging to the term "beautiful" as a source of validity and something that is so essential to have. I thought it was fine for the definition of beauty to be exclusively that of one's physical appearance. But since then I have come to believe that a person's beauty really is all the unique amazing things about them including, as a piece of their giant puzzle of beautifulness, their physical appearance. I am a mentor in an eating disorder support group (the most meaningful thing I have ever experienced) and in group last week we did an activity where we wrote on a piece of paper "I am beautiful because...." and everyone filled up the rest of the page with reasons, apart from physical ones, that we are beautiful. Then we went around the room and took turns reading one reason aloud at a time until we had all read all of our reasons. This group has been one of the prime experiences of my existence and we have had sessions that have changed my life and blessed me in so many ways but I really think that this activity was my very favorite. As each woman expressed uniquely gorgeous aspects of themselves, some of which would be looked down upon by traditional ideologies as negative traits, I just felt truth and happiness glowing within myself. Those things each woman said were beautiful. They were real and unique and genuine. They were individual but also some were universal. I believe that the definition of beautiful is everything about us that makes us who we are. The combination of our strengths and weaknesses and our needs and our abilities. Our tendencies and our quirks. Everyone has genuine beauty. I honestly believe this is true. I was a skeptic and now I am a believer :) I want to share with all of you the list that I wrote about myself. And I want to encourage you to make your own. Please do it :)

I am beautiful because I express my genuine love despite fears of how it will be received.
I am beautiful because I need to be held when I am having a hard time.
I am beautiful because I tell jokes that I think are funny even if other people probably won't think they are.
I am beautiful because I love to listen to people and hold them and comfort them.
I am beautiful because being with my little cousins is one of my very favorite things to do.
I am beautiful because I am imperfect and I openly let others know.
I am beautiful because I am intrinsically, inherently, and innately lovable.

I share these intimate feelings towards myself not lightly. I share this tender activity with you so that you can see how amazing it was for me to feel the unique beauty inside myself and to embrace myself without reservations. Reservations which at times are fueled by perceived inadequacy in the area so many of us (especially those of us who have struggled with eating disorders) so often use as the measure of our validity, our physical appearance.

"You are not defined by how you look. You get to be defined by something much greater."

You are beautiful.