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Transformation is Real! Refuse to Sink! Tir Tat Tales!

You must read this! Read how my transformation is REAL. Read about how I refuse to let my Eating Disorder sink me. Read about my life in recovery.  Thank you to Daniel Maurer for his powerful work and outreach.  He is impacting the world.  Addiction is a very real thing, but recovery is possible.
Lissa - Refuse to Sink! Tir Tat Tales

We've Gotten Through the Big Day - Now Let's Process and Prepare For the Next One!

Okay. Thanksgiving is over. How did you do? Are you having anxiety over all the festivities that took place? Or, the food you ate?

This Holiday season can bring out a lot of stress and anxiety to any "normal" person, but if you are one of the estimated 10 million Americans fighting an eating disorder, then it's a whole different ball game. Holidays often revolve around food, sweets, caloric drinks, you name it and it’s on the table. A lot of it on the table, which can feel uncomfortable at best, or scary and painful at worst. Isn't it ironic that a time that is meant for togetherness, thankfulness, and enjoyment can evoke an extremely dangerous potential downward spiral for victims suffering with an eating disorder? 

Here is a little perspective from a girl trying to live in recovery from her eating disorder:

Eating disorder (ED)'s lying voice SCREAMING in my ear: 

"Everyone was watching you during Thanksgiving dinner! Relatives were scrutinizing every chew, swallow, and bite. Did you perform perfectly? Now they’re all talking behind your back at how worried they are. You know what they say, "She's the sick one, she'll always be the sick one.” You did not meet their expectations and now they are disappointed. Now they are questioning their love and acceptance for you. Shame on you. You should feel guilty about all the food you ate." 


So if your ED brain starts to over analyze what people are thinking and saying and you feel triggered notice if you’re having these thoughts:

Do I feel the pressing need to be loved and accepted? Do I feel out of control or like a failure? 
Do not go down the rabbit hole with those introductory triggering feelings!! Do not over analyze everything you ate and how you performed! Over analyzing begins to handicap anyone and can lead to isolation and depression. The vicious cycle starts very quickly if you are not prepared so I want to share some tools and skills that help me put a stop to this.

My simple recipe for a guilt free holiday season:
  1. Eat and enjoy your food. Think of it as a privilege, not a punishment.
  2. Focus on your blessings. Think of gratitude.
  3. Choose, decide, not to feel guilty. Eating Disorders are not a choice, but you can choose to not feel remorse. 
Get a journal and write down ED’s lies followed by the actual truth. Here is an example:

ED lie: “Shame on you for actually enjoying your food and family. Now you must compensate for this and you should punish yourself with starvation and exercise.”

Truth: Food is for nourishment and enjoyment. Avoid over analyzing every morsel of food you tasted. Flee from calculating every calorie you consumed. The urge to cut back after a holiday meal or feel the need to over exercise is just a compulsion. Food should not bring guilt. C.S. Lewis says “Food is a dripping of Heaven.” 

Truth: There is nothing wrong with admitting that the foods we eat over the holidays are delicious and comforting. The trick is to avoid tacking on comments about gaining weight or having to burn off the calories. Stop shaming your body. Praise it. Remember all the amazing things your body does for you. Your body deserves to be nourished with this scrumptious food.


To match my mood, my place in recovery, and my hope for an ED free Holiday season, I am currently listening to:  

A Conversation with an Eating Disorder


Have you ever spent time around someone who is dying? If you have, you know the distinct smell. If you haven’t, I assure you it’s a smell you’ll never forget.
I wouldn’t describe it as a gross, or even a rotten smell. It’s certainly not the kind of scent that is so pungent it burns your nostrils or startles you. No, to the contrary, it’s subtle, almost slightly sweet and slightly bitter at the same time.

It’s the smell of death and that scent used to linger around me all the time. At fist I tried to ignore it, then I tried to cover it, but after six months it hovered over me at all times. I couldn’t escape it. The smell of impending doom was coming from inside me and it became suffocating.

It's 3 am, I'm reading a dictionary and wishing for a magic 8 ball.

You know when it's 3 am and you can't sleep so you decide that reading the dictionary would be a great idea to help make you bored, so you ask your magic 8 ball (which you do not have one of because, let's just face it, it's not the 80s anymore and no one bases their fate on them anymore...don't ask me why), but I still ask him to give me a divine inspirational word to enlightened my current situation. Anyways, my imaginary magic 8 ball turned the dictionary and placed my finger on this .

I guess I should not base my future hopes and dreams on imaginary magic 8 ball enlightenment. 

Oh nevermind. 

Then, your dictionary seems to be shedding brown, ROACH-LIKE insect wings...so slowly and very cautiously, you turn the page to face the dead roach in your ancient dictionary ONLY to find that it was a 15 year old Gerber Daisy given to me by Paul that I had pressed from when we were just boyfriend and girlfriend!!  Aweeeeeeeee!!

So maybe magic 8 ball universe mother earth dude does know what she's talking about.  Still...enlarge? Geez....

But to give the thing credit,  the words above and below are awesome...

Enigma,  enjoyment, and enlighten. I think I'll keep reading the dictionary instead of sleeping.  

This post is definitely the worse one so far....

Road Work, 1 Mile

So you would never guess this, but I am married to a youth pastor.  He is a really private person who (unfortunately for him) married an obnoxiously outgoing and extroverted (and let's just face it, beautiful) girl. He was well aware of what he was getting himself into, so don't you dare feel sorry for him! I am NOT a private person, and share everything! (I am a good secret keeper though I must say). Anyways, we were driving to the Pensacola fair yesterday so Zay could go to all three fairs in our area (if you consider 1 1/2 hours drive local). Oh fine, here is a picture or two and maybe a video...

Oh, and as he went down this slide he was totally saying "holy crap! Holy crap!" Which, please, that came straight from his daddy's mouth. And there was this lady who had a REALLY BAD case of bangs, that was shaking her head in disapproval. 

Mommy's own magical fairyland right here. $24 worth of candy for yours truly! 

 He is just way to freaking precious. 

So back to the point of my post. On our way home from the fair, Paul was telling me that he gave a sermon (or message or something like preaching but he does not like to say he preaches...come on) on Hannah Montana Movie after having the middle school aged kids in our youth group watch it. Wait, what? 

Then he goes on to tell me that you can make a sermon or a life lesson out of anything.  So after I threatened him with violence, I decided to test him with a game I like to call...babe, that's ridiculous.  I started to point to things and force him to tell me where he would go with that "life lesson" (by the way he hated this game for sure). For example he saw a road work orange cone thing and said that those cones are there to protect us, not just hinder or narrow our pathway, but to protect us from crashing, going the wrong way, etc. Sometimes God puts cones in our lives and (blah blah blah).

Freaking sure enough HE WAS RIGHT!! 
So my favorite one of the night was 
"Road Work, 1 mile"

Road construction SUCKS! It's annoying, inconvenient, tests my patience, brings our my frustration and anger, but you know what? It makes the roads better! It fills up and fixes potentially dangerous and harmful pot holes. It's not a finished product yet. It is not complete and will be ugly and annoying until it is complete! 

ISN'T THAT LIFE??? Like really truly! God's working on my crap right now. It's ugly, it's orange and gives you a headache...and most of us need a warning sign! But I am not finished yet. I'm growing. I'm still being pruned. How refreshing.  And annoying. 

Currently listening to 

Change. Letting Go. Seasons. Pain. Freedom

I have VERY exciting news! I am in the process of creating a charity to help send girls and boys suffering from eating disorders to treatment.  I am not sure if I have shared that my 3 months of inpatient eating disorder treatment cost $150,000 out of pocket. Insurance would not cover 1 cent. Most people can not afford this. I am confident that had I not gotten the intense inpatient treatment I did I would not be alive today. 

SOOOOO...my talented and dear friend Hannah Craft Vermillion and I have been working together to design a logo that signifies eating disorders using a powerful word and the national eating disorder symbol. I plan to create t shirts, coffee mugs, etc. 100% of all proceeds  will go to a scholarship to help as many as possible afford treatment.  

This is my passion and my vision. 

Today's post is about change and letting go.

My favorite season of the entire year is Autumn. I love the October orange sunset, the beautiful gold harvest moons, the crisp air that remind me of so many happy memories, and all the gorgeous changing colors. (Although living in the Panhandle of Florida we are limited to colored leaves). Oh and really the best part hands down is the candy corn and the excitement about holiday Marshmellow Peeps!! However, Watching the Fall turn into Winter reminds us that letting go can be beautiful.  We can learn a lot from watching the seasons.  Letting go can be very difficult at times. Change can feel UNCOMFORTABLE , SCARY and ANXIOUS.

Think about things in your life that you need to let go of. What weighs you down? What are you carrying around DAILY that is a HEAVY BURDEN? For me it is the CONSTANT drive to be a perfectionistic being, which is driven by the desire to please everyone, to be ACCEPTED by everyone,  to be everyone's favorite, and to be LOVED. If I can let go of this then I know I'll live more freely. Remove the veil that blocks you from freeing yourself from experiencing true happiness and joy.

One thing I never realized was that not forgiving someone,  even if they don't want it or ask for it was a really heavy burden. It was affecting me more than that person. But I did not think I had the capacity to forgive them, so I started small. I began to pray for their well being... (not that they would be convicted of their wrongdoings or learn their lessons), but that they would find true happiness.  The fact of the ma\er was that carrying around the weight of unforgiveness was affecting me entirely more than them. Once I let that grudge go I felt a weight of freedom.  Letting go is a part of this change. Free yourself. 

Change is hard. Here are some quotes that have helped me

I am currently listening to Lindsey Stirling's Song of the caged bird to help ease the pain of change.