Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I've been stood up... :-(

So, I am sitting on my couch in my PJ's and glasses, eating the "Friend-z" choc/vanilla twist ice cream w/ reese's cups mixed in that I bought at Friendly's 8 minutes before closing time ALONE because, yes you guessed it ladies, I've been stood up. By a girl, no less! 

So, here's what happened....

Today started out as a much better day. Met w/ the nutritionist, browsed @ the mall, made some tasty chicken and rice and corn on the cob for dinner, and journaled on a park bench near the duck pond that I can walk to from my house. The sun was shining, everything felt great, and my friend Catherine, who I've known since age 3, wanted to get drinks at the Greene Turtle around 9pm. I was super excited because I haven't seen her since April and also I've never been to the Greene Turtle, but I hear it's a fun hangout and I really was looking forward to it. She was supposed to get done w/ her Bible study @ 9 and then call me when she was heading over (yes, Bible study and then drinks, don't ask me why lol).

So I put on an adorable little maxi dress and dried my hair and did my makeup and even found old pictures of Catherine and I throughout childhood that I could bring. And I even convinced myself that I was going to either order a lush daquiri-type drink or a dessert w/ a beer or glass of wine. I was ALL set.

So 9:00 passes, then 9:30. I call her. No answer. 9:45, then 10. I call again. No answer. 10:15 I text. No response. FINALLY, when I was heading upstairs to get in my pajamas and call it a night, she calls me. Giving me some lame excuse about her phone dying and not having my number and how she went to the bar and I wasn't there and it's too late now and she's so tired and could we reschedule and she'll call me Thursday after work IF she has enough time and she feels bad but she's so busy lately.

Needless to say, I was pissed. If she had really cared, she would've just come to my house and knocked on the door rather than sit at the Greene Turtle for half an hour (which I'm kind of doubting she even did). Also, our parents work together, so she could have easily asked her mom for our home number. 

In any case, I realized something. I got off the phone and my mom was in the room and she goes "Why were you so nice to her? You should've SHOWN her you were upset!". And that's when I realized it--I'm the biggest pushover EVER. I was all "Oh it's ok" and "I understand you're busy" and "No big deal" and "Sure we can reschedule". I should've told her I didn't appreciate waiting around for her ass to decide I was worth calling.

So I made a decision. Catherine made me realize that I need to make myself happy before anyone else. And if someone upsets me, I shouldn't let them walk all over me anymore. So, I took myself out for ice cream. Ok ok, maybe a recovering ED person shouldn't be using food as an emotional therapy, but f*** it! I got my period tonight and I wanted some chocolate! And I REFUSE to look up how many calories are in this bad boy, because I'm sure my ED would scream.

BUT I do need to gain weight. The nutritionist is a bit worried b/c I haven't really gained in like a month! I haven't lost, but I haven't gained. Sooo now I might be a smoothie-drinking machine in the next few weeks. I want to gain at least 5 more pounds before I move into my college apartment on August 1. That's one month. That's a pound a week. It'll be hard, especially because my body seems to just burn everything I give it. It's insane! I eat and eat and eat and don't gain! 

So, instead of letting ED make me feel guilty for eating this delicious and rather unhealthy ice cream from Friendly's, I'm going to enjoy it. Thoroughly and fully ENJOY it.

Ok, sorry for my rant. Thanks for all your support ladies. Seriously, this blog is what keeps me going sometimes. I love reading about your lives and feeling reassured that I'm not the only one with these damn thoughts running through my head. And you all also inspire me because I can see how much progress you have made, and it makes me want to work that much harder. 

I'll do another more interesting post another day. Maybe once something interesting happens! haha. Tomorrow I might go to the Antiques Mall, which is a HUGE building where different vendors sell antiques. Anything from clothes to books to furniture to knick-knacks and everything in between. Hoping to find cool things for my new house. I'll try to snap some pics and post them!

Au revoir for now. 

Keep on fighting, girls! 

Sunday, June 28, 2009

long time no blog! Also, survey...

Hi everyone!

I've been on a hiatus recently because this weekend I went up to Selinsgrove, PA to hang out with one of my roommates, celebrate being 21 for the 2nd weekend in a row, and see our off-campus house that we're renting this year!

14 N. High Street!!!

It ended up being a wonderful weekend, especially with overcoming some major ED issues. Friday night, Lauren and I got settled into our apartment and then drove to her friend's place in Bloomsburg to go out to the bars.

We ended up having the time of our lives! Yes, I drank WAY too much ($1 vodka and cranberry's, what can I say), and YES I probably embarrassed myself with our karaoke-ing (some MJ, in honor of his death, as well as the thong song and some janis joplin--random, right?!), but I had SUCH a fun time. Guys even seemed interested in me! And I wasn't counting calories with every sip. I was just enjoying LIFE, and 21-ness, and being young and freeee! And I sure enjoyed the 3am Pizza and the eggs, cinnamon raisin bagel, and hash browns at the diner the next morning. hehe.

Saturday, we were planning on going out in Selinsgrove, but we were so hung over from the night before, Lauren and I just met up with my friend Billie for a late dinner at Applebee's. I got a Mudslide for a dessert. It was insane:

Lauren's dessert shooter, my ENORMOUS mudslide--vanilla ice cream, kahlua, whipped cream & chocolate sauce--, and Billie's "mile high ice cream pie"

Then, Lauren and I returned to our furniture-less apartment and slept on the floor (I used my sweatshirt as a pillow--needless to say, I am ready for my own bed tonight!) and watched "13 Going on 30". It was a fun weekend, and even though the other girls couldn't make it, I really enjoyed spending quality time with Lauren. She is so understanding of my situation and is so supportive. I love her! Then this morning we cleaned the eerily empty house, washed some of the dishes, and tried to get the few items we had brought in order! I'm a bit nervous b/c I am going to be moving in before the other 3 since I'm working at a camp in August. So I'll be alone for 2 whole weeks in that big old 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom house!!! Maybe it'll be fun....muahahaha.

Anyway, Tori tagged me to do this survey thing, So here you go!

Here is where I typeee:

2006 macbook w/ classy pink case & fairy sticker, aka love of my life! Usually I sit at the kitchen table. Sometimes I move to the couch cause it's cozy.

What are you wearing right now?
ooh, this is embarrassing--my PJ's, which consists of blue boxers, a grey NAVY t-shirt, and my baggy SU sweatshirt, plus moccassins.

What's the last thing you read/are currently reading?
Finished "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" by Kim Edwards, and am currently working on "Gaining" by Aimee Liu.

Do you nap a lot?

Who was the last person you hugged?
My mom! We got in a fight over dark chocolate squares (long story) and then she felt bad so we made up.

What's your current obsession/addiction?
alcohol, chocolate (PMS maybe?), cooking

What's for dinner?
grilled chicken, au gratin potatoes, corn (pretty basic). But I had a chocolate Blizzard w/ Reese's for lunch (balanced, right?)

What was the last thing you bought?
food and alcohol. terrible.

What are you listening to right now?
my dad playing "here comes the sun" on his guitar. he's really good! :-)

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
to be able to go to another time period and just chill out.

What is your favorite weather and why?
warm with a slight breeze. because it feels amazing, why else?

What is your most challenging goal right now?
remembering to KEEP EATING. and to NOT FEEL GUILTY. and to realize that it's OK that I eat wayyyy more than my friends...and family...and the whole world. or so it feels like sometimes lol

Favorite pair of shoes that you keep going back to over and over again even though you have a zillion others?
moccassins, brown flip flops, Nike sneakers.

Name one thing you can't live without?
music. pen and paper. my cat.

What time is bedtime?
whenever i feel like it. lately, around 12. tonight, probably 9. lol

If there was one place you could be right now, where would it be?
Disney World, or maybe on a beach or something. Who knows!

This is so sad, because I don't know how to tag people....new to the blogging world, I apologize!

Friday, June 19, 2009


So, here was one of today's random experiments:


                                                                   And after!

The reason I look so shocked is because it turned out very curly and a little weird! But it was just for fun. I was cleaning out my bathroom the other day and found those cloth rollers from the good old days when my mom would do my hair for me at night and I'd sleep on it and wake up and take them out and go to school all bouncalicious. Did anyone else's mom do that? Another one of my favorites when I was younger was to have my mom put little braids in all my hair all over. It was kind of gangster, even though I was a skinny white girl from the suburbs.

Speaking of hair, it is so frustrating that my hair is obviously a LOT thinner. I used to have such thick hair that it was almost unmanageable! In fact, any time I ever got a hair cut or got an updo for a prom or something, the stylist would always comment on my gorgeous thick tresses. My prom updo used a total of I believe it was 120+ bobby pins! 

Haven't gotten compliments on my hair in a long time. It is so silly for me to be so concerned about my hair when recovering from ED because obviously other aspects of my health are much more important, but still. I just want my old self back in every way.

Thanks to those of you who commented. I need to learn to just listen to my body and give it what it wants. I'm definitely making progress!

So, tomorrow night 3 of my friends from high school, Sasha, Trisha, and Kristen, are accompanying me to Baltimore's Inner Harbor, which is about 30-50 minutes from me, depending on traffic, to celebrate my 21st birthday. We're staying at the Waterfront Marriott hotel, and then the plan is to get a late dinner somewhere (maybe Little Italy!!!) and then go out to a bar or pub or something afterwards, since I technically am not 21 until midnight. Luckily, most places are open until 2, some even later.

Today I was searching for some good restaurants that would be fun, affordable, and have a good atmosphere that we can go to while in the city. Looking at the menus online, I realized that I was more concerned with looking at the gorgeous food and drinks, and was actually looking on the menu for something that sounded tasty, NOT searching for calorie content or trying to find the "safest" or "healthiest" choice on the menu. I sure as hell am not going to go to a restaurant in Little Italy and not get a big bowl of pasta! Or go to P.F. Chang's and not get some fried rice and Szechuan shrimp! I realized today that it's OK to let yourself go sometimes. Hell, all the time. I really believe that people should allow themselves to eat what they want when they want it, within reason. Obviously, if you're in the mood for cheese curls, you probably shouldn't eat the whole bag. But a nice generous portion won't hurt. Because I realized that my "binges" lately are mostly a result of my underfeeding myself during the day. It's mostly unconscious, honestly, which scares me. It is SO scary how sneaky ED can be. 

But that's part of the reason I experimented with the rollers today. I took a nice, long, hot shower in my parents room because my DAD--yes, my dad and not my mom lol--has some pretty awesome Burt's Bees shampoo in there that he uses! HA! And after my shower, I slathered on some wonderful Aveeno lotion, and decided to spend some time pampering my little booty with the curlers and some makeup. I hardly ever wear makeup, especially since the ED (my staple outfit last semester was--you guessed it--SU sweats, EVERY day), but it felt nice to treat myself. I also laid outside in my bikini and finished reading "The Memory Keeper's Daughter", by Kim Edwards. Not my absolute favorite, but still really good.

Speaking of books, does anyone have any recommendations? I am a Creative Writing and Psychology major, and for my writing independent study, I have chosen to "chronicle" my experiences with anorexia nervosa via memoir/journal entries as well as poetry, my forte. I also someday wish to work as a counselor for girls with ED. I have heard of a few books written by ED survivors, such as "Gaining" by Aimee Liu and "A Very Hungry Girl" by Jessica Weiner. I am thinking of getting them out of the library and reading them, but I wanted to know if anyone else had read them and whether they'd be worth it. I'm also worried about it maybe upsetting/triggering me? Any thoughts? But part of the independent study is to not only write our projects, but to read several books that relate. So I thought those might.

Might start reading "Dry" by Augusten Burroughs. It's about his struggle with alcoholism, which in a way isn't so far from EDs at all. 

Wow, I've written way too much. But it's 9:30 pm and I'm bored and my parents went out dancing (they are too cute, really. They take private lessons doing anything from swing to salsa!), so I am left to my own devices. *sigh*

Ok, I'll be sure to post lots of pictures after my birthday weekend!!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Taking it Slow

Good afternoon!

First off, thank you so much for your comments and also for your inspiring blogs! I know I've said this several times to several of you, but I honestly read your blogs and find such a sense of ease and relief that I am not the only one going through this kind of thing.

So, how has my week been?

Well, pretty boring, to be perfectly honest. In fact, I think I may be spending a bit TOO much time in front of the computer. I used to sit for hours and hours at my desk in my single room at college when I was deep into ED, browsing health and diet sites and calorie-counting sites, etc etc. Now my time online is spent on Facebook, blogs, and searching for recipes, but still...I need to break the habit of sitting down and passing 3 hours without even knowing it!

It could also be the weather. Right now the sun is finally playing peek-a-boo with the clouds, but still. The past few days have been sooo rainy and depressing.

I binged again last night, pretty badly. It's weird how my ED seems to have taken a whole new turn. I definitely think it's a combination of boredom, loneliness, and emotion that makes me binge. It's always at night after everyone else is asleep, and I always feel so disgusting and ashamed. But yet I still do it. I vow now to STOP this destructive behavior! I don't want to be obsessed w/ planning and calories b/c I know that's not how normal people live, but for the next few weeks I might have to just plan out my meals and snacks, especially at night, and force myself to stick to them!....Except this weekend because it's my 21st birthday and I fully intend on ordering a bunch of burritos and a huge margarita at dinner, and drinking a couple drinks (don't worry, nothing TOO extreme b/c it's unsafe at this weight) at the bar with my friends. I also told my mom I want a boston cream pie as my birthday cake, and I plan on having a generous slice with a nice scoop of ice cream on the side, because you only turn 21 once!

Last night I asked my mom to tell me honestly what I look like these days. I've been trying to avoid mirrors and scales and the like, and so I wanted her honest opinion. She told me I look like one of those runway supermodels. I don't really know if this was meant as a compliment or not, but I think it may have triggered the binge, as twisted as it sounds. I know my mother means well (most of the time), and wants me to be well, but when she makes comments, whether it's to tell me I am sooo skinny, or to say "Look at your butt! It's growing!" like she did when I was wearing my skintight yoga pants, my inner ED voice panics. It also doesn't help that my mom is constantly worried about her weight and appearance, and has voiced her desire to get lipo and a boob job. Plus, my dad likes to snack a lot, but he is also trying to get "fit" and always says "I don't know why I'm so hungry" or "I shouldn't be eating this", and it just frustrates me even more and makes my little voice tell me I shouldn't be eating this or that either, and that I need to lose weight.

But this is when the binges happen. Which makes absolutely NO sense. I think it's my regular Coco, pre-ED, who decides to binge. It seems to happen like this: I look in the fridge/pantry at some item, whether it be ice cream or a bagel, and ED says "DON'T eat it. It's bad for you." And then Coco says "Fuck you, Annie, I'll eat what I want!" and then proceeds to eat not only the coveted bagel or ice cream, but also some chocolate, oatmeal, crackers, cookies, and chocolate, just for good measure.

But from now on, no matter what voices are in my head, I'm going to eat nice healthy MEALS so I'm not tempted to snack all the time. And sure, I am in the process of gaining, so if I'm hungry and want a scoop of ice cream or a bowl of oatmeal, I'll have it. BUT I won't keep eating and eating until my tummy is about to explode and I feel depressed. I need to learn to have a healthy relationship with food, and healthy means eating what you want WITHIN REASON. I'm going to let myself have cookies and candy, probably at least once a day, but only as long as I am eating enough other healthy stuff like protein and carbs and fiber and veggies and fruits and whole grains!

Ok enough ranting about food. Maybe I'll go outside and enjoy this sliver of sunlight....

Au revoir, amigos! (Yes, I combined 2 languages, sue me)

P.S. Here's a picture of just one of the MANY MANY delicious foods I tasted in France in May. This was homemade strawberry tart baked by my Great Aunt Yveline!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Hello all,

Today is Sunday, June 14th, which means there are exactly 7 days--1 week!--until my 21st birthday. I am planning on going into Baltimore and going to the bars with a few of my friends. BUT my birthday is also on Father's Day, so I'll have to get home early enough to hang with my dad!

Things have been up and down lately, emotionally. Finally went for my first appointment at Sheppard Pratt's Eating Disorders Center. It actually went fairly well and the woman I talked with was super nice. I have my first nutritionist meeting bright and early tomorrow morning! Which I really think I need, because I've lost a pound in the last week which doesn't make any sense because one of my issues lately is binge eating at night and not being able to stop!

Last night I went to see "The Hangover" with my friend Sasha. It wasn't very good--at all. Funny at times, but mostly just wildly inappropriate. Call me old-fashioned, but I don't really want to see men's balls and pictures of women giving guys blowjobs when I go to the movies! I mean, seriously. But it was nice to see Sasha. We were super close in high school and I hadn't seen her in 2 years!!! She came over after and we ended up sitting in my room talking til 1 in the morning.

My parents got into a big fight and today they were having a serious discussion about divorce. I swear I'll freak if that happens. They've been married 26 years and I always thought things were so great, but I guess life isn't perfect. *sigh*

Anyway, I'm getting sick of this whole ED thing. It's like, even when I'm not thinking about food, it's still always there in the back of my mind, and I'm still constantly concerned with how I look. Sometimes I'll think I'm way too skinny, and other times I feel bloated and fat and ugly and disgusting. And I am so lost still in terms of what I should be eating. Today for breakfast I had cereal w/ granola, strawberry cream of wheat, and a Luna breakfast bar, but it just seemed so random and not very satisfying. Hopefully the nutritionist can help me pick things that are tasty and satisfying and still healthy.

Well, I'm off to take a shower and go shopping for a gift for my dad for Father's day! Happy Sunday, and take it easy :-)

Monday, June 8, 2009

My life in Photos

Hello, friends!

So I figured, if you're gonna want to read about my life, you should see who I was, am, and hope to be!

So, here's some eye candy for you!

First, here I am before my Senior Prom in May 2006 (age 17):

Don't you just love my shoes? Hehe.

Here I am on Halloween in 2006, my freshman year of college (I'm in the middle):

Fun fact: Danielle (on the right) went through anorexia a year before I did (this is obviously before she had it) and has been a source of inspiration and support for me. Kelly, on the left, is the first real friend I made at college and has stayed my best friend since. She is now one of my roommates. Speaking of which....

Here are my roomies and I fall of Junior year (September 2008):

From left: Kristen, Coco (me!), Kelly, Lauren

I love these girls and don't know what I'd do without them.

I also couldn't live without my sophomore year roomie and very close friend, Chelsea:

This was also taken last fall (back when I was getting in shape but still had boobs and a butt!)

Now, I don't usually do this, but I'm going to show you my gradual progression into anorexia, and where I am today!

Here is a photo of me in November 2008, before my boyfriend (now ex-boyfriend) Sean's TKE formal:

again, with my Chel! :-)

Here is me with my best friend, Brooke. Even though our relationship has suffered because of my ED, Brooke has been my friend since we were little and I know she'll always be there for me.

This is a terrible and weird picture, but it shows our quirky relationship well! This is in May 08, at Brooke's older brother's wedding!

Here are my parents:

This is from a month ago, in May, at a lovely chateau during our trip to Paris. I'm very lucky to have 2 wonderful, strong, supportive parents that actually still love each other even after 26 years of marriage! I hope to someday find a love like they have!

Ok, so I think I've covered the important points. Now let me show you what ED did to me, and what I'm doing to fight back.

Here I am in January 09, looking thinner but still human and womanly:

After this is when my ED spiraled out of control. The picture above was taken the very first weekend back at school after winter break. Once back at school and under the pressure of classes, work, and my rocky relationship with Sean, ED took over and made me feel like there was at least one thing in my life I could control.

Here I am in February (I'm the second from the right in the pink dress):

Not extremely terrible yet, but still not healthy. At this point, the mental part of ED was very strong. I remember counting every sip of alcohol I consumed that night and feeling like a failure for drinking that many calories. This was, in fact, one of the last nights that I drank at all junior year.

March, with Sean on our 2-year anniversary:

We had a romantic dinner out and then stayed at a nice hotel. I remember looking online to make sure I ordered something with the least calories, then getting upset that they had put shredded cheese on my salad. I picked every single piece of cheese out as Sean looked at me sadly. To his defense, he tried very hard to get me to see what I eventually saw--that I was really, truly ill. His older sister was hospitalized for anorexia when she was in high school, so he knew firsthand what it can do to a person. I also remember asking Sean to go get some ice at the hotel, and I quickly did jumping jacks and pushups before he got back because I felt so guilty for eating. That was one of my lowest points.

April, at Sean's formal:

Pale, skinny, sick. I remember being so cold that Sean had to give me his suit jacket and I didn't take it off the whole night. I rewore the same dress that I had worn a year before. Check out the difference:

This is April 08, and I was around 130 pounds, healthy, happy, spunky, and adorable.

Here I am at my lowest weight, with my roommate Kristen at the end of April 2009:

It's embarrassing to even post this photo, but I trust you guys and I realize that for my own wellbeing, I need to see pictures like this to make me realize how serious my problem was, but also how far I have come today!

So, here I am in France in May 09, eating lots of fun food! :

This particular photo is of my mom and I sitting on a bench in front of the Tour de Eiffel eating eclairs. Easily one of the best moments of my life (and a real turning point!)

And here I am in more recent times:

(this was taken May 26)

And here I am a few weekends ago with my college friends (I'm on the far left):

So, even though I'm still underweight, and even though I have a long way to go, I am making progress. I've gained about 12 or 13 pounds back, and although I have about 15 or 20 more to gain, I know that I can do it, and I'm happy that mentally I am so much better than I was before.

When people ask me what my experience has been like, I can't think of any other way to describe it than this: For more than 6 months of my life, I was in a coma. I was in the darkest place you could be. And now, finally, I am waking up. I'm exiting the fog and confusion that is anorexia and entering the world again. It's hard, especially when it comes to friendships and being social again, but slowly, step by step and day by day, I'm making progress.

I'm sorry this was so long, but I wanted you all to see some pictures so you could "put the face with the name", so to speak. Plus, it was kind of for my own sanity as well. So, here's what I hope to look like by the end of summer:

Will it happen overnight? No. But will it happen? YES. It will. No matter how long it takes, I'll get there!!!

Well, now I'm off to go hot-tubbing with Brooke. A bit nervous about wearing a bathing suit again, but who cares?! ED can shove it, biatch!

Friday, June 5, 2009

good morning!...er, afternoon...

Woke up later than expected again today. I think my whole family is getting sick because we all just feel so blahhh lately.

Just wanted to thank the lovely ladies who commented on my post! It makes me feel SO much better knowing that I'm not alone in this. It's hard for me these days because my friends don't really understand my issues at all and wonder why I can't just "go back to normal" like I used to be, but I'm realizing it's not that simple.

However! I made myself some kickass eggs and cereal and a yogurt parfait this morning, so I'm pretty content.

I'm hanging out with Brooke tonight. Brooke is my best friend since we were little. She is a year younger than me and we grew up 3 houses down from each other in the same neighborhood. I love her to death, and I feel like ED made our friendship weird for awhile, but I am vowing to bring things back to normal because I don't know what I'd do without her!

Maybe I'll post some pictures soon of me before ED, now, and my friends. And my dog and cat! 

I'm gonna go read my book and perhaps do something random and artsy, like make a collage from old magazine clippings. 

Later, friends!

P.S. I am very jealous of many of you because your blogs are so pretty and filled with tons of pictures and fun things. How do I spunk my page up a bit? I'm pretty computer illiterate at times!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

one day at a time...

Well, hello readers (although I doubt I have any followers at this point, as this is my very first blog entry)!

As you can read from my info page, I am 20 years old (my 21st birthday is on the 21st of June which is also Father's Day this year so that will be interesting) and I am currently trying to recover from anorexia. My name is Colleen, but my friends call me Coco (it's a long story). Since this is my first entry, let me tell you a little about my life:

I was always a thin, active girl all throughout my childhood. In high school, I danced ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, etc 6 days a week and was also involved in theater and chorus at school. I was always a huge ham, loved being onstage, and had lots of friends! At 5'6.5", I never weighed more than 120 in high school, and I never watched what I ate. In fact, my friends were often astounded at the large amounts of pizza, ice cream, and various other junk foods I could consume without gaining a pound.
In the fall of 2006 I went off to Susquehanna University, a small liberal arts school nestled in the middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania. I quickly made several friends, many of whom have remained my close friends even as we approach our senior year. I began dabbling in the usual activities of college life: classes, homework, studying....and drinking.
At the end of sophomore year, I was about 130 pounds, which is still relatively thin for my height and age, but was a bit more than I was used to weighing. Looking back, I now realize that ok, maybe I wasn't making the best food choices at school and maybe I wasn't working out, but I was still healthy and happy. I'd give anything to turn back the clock...
So, at the end of sophomore year (aka May 2008), I decided to "get fit" and "start eating right". I starting jogging with my dad, eating healthier foods and more reasonable portions, and lost 5 pounds basically without even trying (I suppose I'm "blessed" with a fast metabolism--something I'm getting more and more frustrated with as I'm struggling to regain weight). I felt good, looked good, and kept getting compliments when I went back to school in the fall. So I figured, hey, why not lose a little more? It won't hurt.
Slowly but surely, a little demon whom I like to call "Annie" snuck into my life and into my thoughts. October, November, December. A few more small changes--"Run 30 minutes instead of 20"; "Don't put cheese on your sandwich!"; "No more dessert!". 
Once January 2009 arrived and the new semester was under way, Annie became literally unstoppable. She told me to run EVERY DAY, and if I didn't I felt worthless. She told me to stop eating carbs and fat and that salad and vegetables would make me healthy and beautiful. My friends became concerned, my teachers made comments, my parents gawked at me in awe when I came home for spring break, I stopped getting compliments and started getting sad or disgusted stares. I stopped hanging out with my friends and roommates. I was constantly cold, had to nap at least 2 times a day just to function ( if you could call it functioning), and there were times when I could barely make it up the stairs to the 3rd floor for my classes. Before I knew it, I was down to just under 93 pounds.
Then, slowly but surely, it hit me: I was sick. Really and truly ill. I don't remember which "moment" was my defining one, because I believe there are--and will be--many. But I do remember running on the treadmill, telling myself to go harder, faster, longer, and then suddenly I realized I CAN'T DO THIS ANYMORE. I PHYSICALLY CAN'T RUN ANYMORE. So I went outside the gym and called my mom at work, shaking and crying. I told her I wanted to get a sandwich at Clyde's (this delicious place in the same building as the gym which has kickass burritos, sandwiches, and smoothies) because I was hungry but that I was afraid. She told me to just go get the sandwich but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. That was one of the lowest moments of my life. Slowly, this past April, as spring advanced, I made baby steps: a dunkin donuts run with my friends (the first donut I had eaten in well over a year), Chinese buffet, Applebee's half-price appetizers, until it was time for junior year to end and for everyone to part ways.
Then, this past May, from the 7-18, my parents and I went on a trip that honestly saved me. We went to France to visit my mother's relatives (she used to live there when she was little), and also to sightsee around France. When I went to buy "summer" clothes for the trip and realized that a size 16 GIRL'S pants were STILL TOO BIG, something in me broke. "Ok", I thought, "that's it. You are going to go on this trip and EAT and GET BETTER". And I did. We had quiche, eclairs, crepes, pain au chocolat, pasta, beef, chicken, ice cream, SO MANY DELICIOUS PASTRIES, WINE WINE WINE....and I realized I enjoyed every single morsel that entered my body. And I felt reenergized. And even though we walked like crazy taking in the sights (the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, Giverny, Dijon, Chaumont, chateaus and churches and cafes and wine country and the list goes on and on), I felt more alive on that trip than I've ever felt before. And I gained a few solid pounds--went from 96 before our trip to at least 100 after, and am now fluctuating around 103-105!
And even though the weeks since we've returned have been difficult (having to make my own food, being alone at home all day, re-entering the social world, etc etc), I am realizing that I am much stronger than I had ever imagined. I know this journey will be a long one, and I'm sure I'll stumble, but I also know that Annie is fading and Coco is taking back the reigns. I am a psychology and creative writing major, and I think God has a reason for this. Even though anorexia is one of the most physically and mentally exhausting experiences I've ever had, I think it will make me stronger in the end, and I intend to use my writing and my Psych background to help other girls so that they won't make the same mistakes I did. 
Anyway, this summer I am taking the time to get help, get nourishment for brain and body, and to get better so that my senior year in college can be the best yet. My goal weight is to be at least 120 again, and to be healthy and active (but not an obsessive-compulsive overexerciser). I am rediscovering the foods I love (pasta! ICE CREAM! anything with chicken! chocolate! peanut butter!) and the hobbies I used to enjoy (reading! writing! DANCING around the house! shopping! photography! etc etc). Sometimes I feel really depressed and anti-social and "emo", as the kids would say, but I realize that those moments are probably Annie, telling me I don't deserve friends or food or new clothes or any FUN.
The real Coco loves life. Coco loves fun. And little by little, day by day, Annie is fading into a memory and the real Colleen is emerging once more--happier, healthier, and ready to take on the world, one bite at a time!

Anyway, probably none of you read this, but if you did, thank you. I could use all of the support I can get!

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