Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Nanny

No, not that nanny!

This one:

(that's me in August with T and F, the cutest boys ever!)

Last night was my first night working at my new nannying job. I am watching three kids--twins (a boy & a girl) who are 5, and their little brother, who is 3. Last night, I just had to watch them for a few hours after dinner. But starting in January, I'll be nannying pretty consistently 3 or 4 days per week. The money is good, and it's a good interim position while I seek full-time employment.

After all, I am a college graduate now.

(Sorry. I just like saying that! :-P)

Anyway, the kids were pretty good. Bedtime is always a bit of a struggle, and the fact that the two boys share a bedroom adds an extra hassle, but I think I did a pretty swell job on my first day.

Case in point:

Other than that, my family is just gearing up for the holidays! My brother is home, which is awesome--I hadn't seen him since May! Tomorrow, his fiancee flies in--can't wait!

The next week is a whirlwind of family parties, catching up with friends, baking up a storm, and hopefully having a chance to just RELAX.

Do you get stressed around the holidays?

I find that it's often easy to get caught up in the preparations and the gift-wrapping and baking and making everything perfect, and I find myself forgetting the real reason for Christmas. I'm not super religious, but I do find myself to be a spiritual person, and I often have to force myself to stop and thank God, or whatever higher power is up there, for all of the wonderful blessings in my life. Christmas is not just about gifts and food and parties. It is about truly being present (pun sort of intended), and about savoring each and every moment with our loved ones.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I'm a Pro Girl Now

I am currently blogging from my brand new.......

macbook pro! AAAHHHHH!!!!!

My family surprised me with it for my graduation. I am still in complete and utter shock.

My brother helped make it all possible with his military discount (sweeet!). I was NOT expecting this at all, and I feel so incredibly lucky and blessed.

So, I'd love to stay and chat, but I need to go play with my new toy now!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Where on Earth...

...have I been!?!?

Well, as any college student knows, the last two weeks of the semester are always the most brutal. On top of all that, I have been trying to make sure everything is in order for me to GRADUATE! As of now, as long as I pass my classes this semester, I am all set.

I am in disbelief. I finally made it.

So, tonight was my final final (weird!), and I had a presentation as well. All I have left between me and college grad status is my research paper with my research group for psychology. We have been doing draft after draft after draft, and I think by tomorrow it will be complete!

So, I have realized lately just how truly amazing my friends are. I started out this semester totally nervous and unsure about what would happen. Most of my close friends had already graduated. My roommates were totally random. I thought I would just do my work, get it over with, and be ready to move on.

But now? Well, my roommates and some of the other people I've met this semester are some of the most positive influences in my life right now. They are level-headed, intelligent, caring, and fun. They listen when I need them to, and make me laugh when I need them to, and truly care about me.

I really got to see how much they truly care this past weekend. On Friday night, my roommate Kelly told me to take a shower and dress nice because we were going to her Rugby team's annual Holiday Party at a local restaurant. So, I got myself dolled up and a few of us hopped in the car. When we got to the restaurant, we walked into the back room, and all of a sudden I see my parents, my best friend Brooke from home, and about 20 of my college friends waiting for me.

"SURPRISE!!!" they all yelled.

I couldn't believe it. Kelly organized the entire thing. It was a surprise graduation party, complete with a sheet cake, gifts, and cards. And my parents and best friend were in on it! It was amazing. I have never ever in my life had a surprise party before, so it was awesome.

the whole crew

roomies <3

Tonight, my roommates and a few of our close friends (all of whom I met this semester but feel incredibly close and connected to) exchanged Christmas gifts. Kelly gave me Clarissa Explains It All Season 1 on DVD (please tell me I'm not the only one who used to LOVE this show growing up!), and then she made me a scrapbook of photos of this semester, from the beginning of the year, to Halloween, to now. It had inspiring quotes and stickers and was just amazing. I cried.

Now, as I am gearing up to leave Susquehanna University for the last time as an enrolled undergraduate student, I am terrified. Nostalgic. Sad. Uncertain. Proud. Relieved. Anxious. Excited. So many emotions, both positive and negative, are flowing through me right now and I don't even know how to begin to process them.

All I know is this: things are going to change. My life is about to change in an incredibly substantial way, and my future is a blank page. But, I know that it will be ok. It's going to work out. And I know for a fact that the friendships I've built this semester will last, because these people truly care about me and I truly care about them. It's going to be difficult not waking up and walking into the kitchen to sip coffee together and rehash our crazy shenanigans, or to walk to class together in the pouring rain, or to randomly decide to down a bottle of wine on a Tuesday night and color pictures of Disney Princesses to tape all over the walls (yes, that really happened).

But even though I'll be farther away doesn't mean I can't visit. And you know what? I'm 22 years old. It's time for change. It's time for real life to begin. I might not be 100% ready, but I am willing to try. I am going to make the best of each and every day.

Look out world, here comes Coco!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Are you chicken?

It's the first day of December (and my roommate's 21st birthday!!!), and it is 60 degrees and rainy outside with a thunderstorm warning.

What is wrong with this picture....?!?!


Thanksgiving ended up going quite differently than planned, but that's ok--I have been learning to really go with the flow and take things as they come. Yoga & meditation techniques have helped me with this, along with journaling. I highly recommend yoga. It is WAY more than just an exercise for your body--it can truly transform your mind and outlook, and is the best stress reliever!

Anyway, on Thanksgiving morning, my dad woke up with a terrible cough, a fever, and just feeling really sick. So, rather than travel 4.5 hours to Pittsburgh, my parents and I decided to stay at home.

Mom & I went to the grocery store and bought a yummy but nontraditional meal--roast chicken instead of turkey! Hey, who says you have to have turkey for Thanksgiving?!?!

We did buy more traditional side dishes: stuffing, potatoes (which my mom used to make her homemade mashed potatoes), cranberry sauce, and lemon meringue pie. We also had asparagus on the side, and a homemade chocolate cake along with the pie. It was randomly thrown together, but considering Dad was sick and it was mostly just Mom & I eating, it wasn't so bad. Plus, it was kind of nice having a quiet meal without the stress of relatives.

I also had my very first Black Friday shopping experience! I woke up at 3:30 am and my Mom & I hit up Best Buy. We arrived at 4:15 am, and the parking lot was already full. There was a line of customers wrapping around and behind the building! The store didn't even open until 5am! We managed to get 2 nooks (the Barnes & Noble digital reader) for $99 each! After Best Buy, we headed to the mall to score some more deals.

The rest of my Thanksgiving weekend was spent relaxing and decorating for the upcoming holiday season. I also have been absolutely addicted to online holiday shopping--I got some amazing deals during Cyber Monday!

Now, it's back to reality--my final 2 weeks before I become an official college graduate!!! I have a LOT of schoolwork to do in the next 2 weeks, including group projects, papers, and exams. However, I know I can do it. I also have been working at the coffeehouse like crazy to make as much money as I can before I leave! Last night, I worked until midnight! There was a jazz band performing and they were really good, so it made the night a bit more interesting.


So, seeing as it's December, I wanted to ask: what is your favorite holiday tradition?

Mine is my family's Christmas Eve party. My extended family will be spending Christmas Eve at our house, where we have food, drinks, a gift exchange, and escargot (my mother is French)! It's always nice to catch up with my cousins, aunts, and uncles.

I am also excited to see my older brother, whom I haven't seen since May!!! That's 7 long months!!! He and his fiance will be visiting for Christmas, and I couldn't be happier.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving--a day or a lifestyle?

(Thanksgiving 2009)

I was driving home for Thanksgiving Break last night, and I passed a church with this slogan on its sign:

"Thanksgiving is not just a day, but a way of life."

Although I don't consider myself very religious, that quote resonated with me as I drove by that little country church.

On Thanksgiving, Americans stop to think about what they are thankful for--family, friends, health, money, career, contentment, or whatever it may be. Don't get me wrong, I think Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to reflect on our lives and rediscover what we are grateful for in this world.

But why just this one specified day of the year? Why not every day?

This Thanksgiving, I certainly am reflective on my past, especially at how far I've come in the last 2 years. Last year at this time, I was absolutely dreading Thanksgiving--the food, the stress, the weight gain. Last year, I wasn't attending college and wasn't sure if I would ever return.

This year? I won't lie and say I'm not anxious or stressed. After all, my family isn't always tactful when it comes to comments about weight and diet. And the fact that in 8 hours, I will be stuck in a car for 4 hours (we are travelling to my grandparents' house this year in Pittsburgh) and then I'll be eating immediately afterwards, and then sitting around some more, isn't exactly making me jump for joy.

However, I'm not worried about it. Food will be enjoyed, wine will be consumed, laughter will be heard, conversation will be had, and my heart will be filled with joy.

This year, I am literally less than one month away from being a college graduate.

This year, I am at a healthy weight. I have had consistent menstrual periods for 3 months straight. I exercise lightly when--and only when--I want to, not because I feel the "need" to. I indulge in the foods I love, because I know that as long as my diet is mostly balanced, I will be just fine.

So, join me, friends. This year, let's make a vow to be mindful of our blessings every day, not just on Thanksgiving.

May you all have a healthy, happy, delicious holiday.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'd Like to Have an InFORMAL Discussion

Ok, So I'm still working on what I hope will be an epic and even controversial post about "health" and what it means to me, as well as what I've noticed in the media and in the blogging community.

But for now, as the oh-so-clever title of my post suggests, I would like to have an inFORMAL discussion.

Meaning what, you may ask?

Welllll, nothing really. I just wanted an excuse to post my purrrty pictures from the FORMAL DANCE I attended this past Saturday evening! My roommate, Kelly, is on our school's Women's Rugby team (sweet, right?! GIRL POWER!), and the Men's & Women's teams had a formal dance on Saturday night to celebrate the end of the season. Clearly, Kelly brought ME as her "date" ;-)

It was at Peking Gardens, a local Chinese Restaurant, and food, liquor, and transportation was provided--score! I had a heaping plate of fried noodles, orange chicken, broccoli, rice, and an eggroll, as you will see in a few of the following (incredibly flattering--insert sarcasm here) photos. There was dinner, dancing, a DJ, and fun times all around.

Here are some highlights:

My "date", Kelly, and I

I won't lie: I felt sexy in my classic black dress and heels :-)

I spent my night dancing with a man I will call A (pictured above). He works with me at the coffee shop and was actually another girl's "guest" for the evening (they are just friends). We ended up dancing and talking the entire night. It must have gone well because he and I have made plans to hang out tomorrow evening! :-)

Oh yeah, and I can't forget my two favorite photos of the evening.

drumroll, please.......




.....and there you have it, ladies and gents. Proof that ED recovery is most clearly worth it.

A year or two ago, I wouldn't have even come near such greasy, "fatty", "unhealthy" foods.

But now?


Well, the pictures say it all. <3>

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Make-up Free Tuesday

So, as you can see from my previous post over the weekend, Friday night was incredibly fun.


Saturday night, although it ended up being fun in its own way, was completely different than expected.

As I mentioned in my last post, Saturday night B & I were planning on doing a "couples" costume.

My clues were: polka dots, sweater vests, and sneakers.
So, what were we?

Doug Funnie & Patty Mayonnaise!
(from the Nickelodeon series that was on TV in the early 1990's)


Our version:

So, basically what ended up happening this weekend is this: "Doug" was acting really weird towards me. The entire "couples" costume concept was his idea, and we even went out and bought materials on Friday afternoon. But once Saturday came around, B was acting very cold and indifferent towards me. We didn't even meet up until around 11:30 Saturday night, and he decided to go home and go to bed instead of go out with me and my friends.

So, Patty Mayo hit the town on her own! Surprisingly, quite a few people actually recognized my character, even without Doug present. I ended up dancing with a guy I had hooked up with in the past, and we ended up going home together. We also hung out Sunday night too.

I haven't even spoken to B since Saturday night. His texts were short and rude, and he has made no effort to contact me or see me. His facebook makes it appear as if he and the ex-girlfriend are getting "friendly" again.

So, I am a little disappointed. But surprisingly, I am not as devastated as I thought I'd be. I've really learned in the past few months how to be a completely independent person. I don't need a man to make me feel good about myself. And you know what? It's B's loss. There are guys interested in me, and someday I'll find one who is worth my time and attention. There is no need for me to become emotionally invested in someone who doesn't treat me the way I deserve to be treated.

In other news, this week is LOVE YOUR BODY WEEK 2010 at my college. And to think that it all came from a presentation I made in class! Now, my Women's Studies class, along with a few organizations on campus, have put together an entire week of events.

Today is MAKE-UP FREE TUESDAY. And I'm rockin' it:

To be honest, I don't usually wear much make-up anyway, so this wasn't too hard. On a typical day, mascara and lip gloss are all I wear.

Do you wear make-up daily?
What make-up essentials can you not live without?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Party Like Dr. Seuss

Hello, lovelies!

As this is my last Halloween weekend of my college career, I have decided to go ALL OUT.

Last night, my friend and I were Dr. Seuss' Thing 1 & Thing 2.

The originals:

Our "cuter" version (I'm Thing 1):

...and here's a couple more pics, just 'cause I was rockin' my new bootay ;-)

We danced, we drank (way too much), we ate, we flirted, we danced some more, and we had the best time ever.

It was worth every hungover second. Went to bed at 5:30 am, got up at 1:00pm. Ate lunch at 2:00pm. I feel like such a lazy college kid...and i love it.

Going out again tonight. This time, the new boy interest and I are doing a "couples" costume. I'll post photos tomorrow, but I'm not telling what we are dressing as.

Here are 3 clues:

1. Polka dots
2. Sweater vests
3. Sneakers

Can you guess what "couple" B & I are going to be tonight???

Friday, October 22, 2010

My 100th Post!

It's my 100th Post!!!

I started Hot Coco(a) in the summer of 2009 after being inspired by Eating Disorder Recovery blogs as well as Healthy Living blogs. I wanted to share my own experiences in recovery, and admittedly, I really just needed a place to express my feelings when I was struggling.

In the past year and a half, I have come a looong way. Am I "recovered"? Not exactly. But am I in a stable and solid place in my recovery? Absolutely.

In fact, I am thinking of perhaps shifting the focus of my blog a bit. Instead of talking about eating disorders all the time, and the troubles anorexia has brought to my life, I want to make this blog have a more general, positive focus. Although I don't consider myself completely recovered, I feel like my eating disorder is no longer my "identity". Thus, I want this blog to be more about me and my life, rather than about my anorexia. Is my eating disorder a part of me? Yes, I think it still is, in both positive and negative ways. My experience has given me so much wisdom and appreciation for what my body can do. And yes, I still have my slip-ups and rough patches. But I am finally at a healthy weight (which I have been able to maintain while still living independently at college, getting decent grades, and working part-time!), and I finally have positive people and activities in my life that have nothing to do with my eating-disordered self.

Maybe ED still lurks in the background and rears his ugly head from time to time, but I am now strong enough and confident enough to tame that beast and go on with my day--and my life.

So, from now on, my posts will be more about my life. Yes, they will involve food, as food has (amazingly!) become a source of enjoyment and fun in my life. But the blog will also focus on the next phase of my life as I graduate from college and make my way into the real world.


So, to wrap up this epic 100th post, I leave you with some photos. The first set is of me in the spring of 2009, when I was still in the throes of my eating disorder and started this blog:


And the second is a series of photos of me NOW. I literally took these last night. I am proud of my new body and I want to show you that
recovery is possible
, and life is beautiful!

I hope you follow me on the next leg of journey, and I thank you for your support thus far.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Recovery Means...

Recovery Means...

Suggesting that your parents take you out to dinner on a random Monday night...and actually looking forward to it

Baking muffins, cookies, and zucchini bread for your friends and family...and actually partaking in the eating of said baked goods.

...and licking the batter during the baking process of said items...

...and perhaps eating a cookie fresh out of the oven for the simple reason that it smells delicious, looks delicious, and you must taste-test your baked goods before feeding them to your loved ones, right?

.... Right!!!

Recovery means...

Buying new (larger) jeans, and looking at yourself in the mirror in the dressing room with admiration of your round booty and toned legs, without a hint of disgust.

Coming home and purging all of those old "sick" clothes from your closet...and feeling oddly satisfied about it.

Ordering a martini at dinner and having an extra piece of bread from the bread basket, simply because you feel like it.

Stepping out of the shower and meeting eyes with yourself in the mirror.

Recovery means...

Socializing with friends, even when it doesn't fit your "plan" for the when someone calls you at the last minute wanting to meet for coffee...

...and you order a slice of fresh-baked banana bread with your coffee, simply because you want it.

...even if you've already had your "snack" that day.

These are just a few of the things recovery has slowly given me.

What does recovery mean for you?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sexual Assault: It is NEVER Your Fault!

I want to discuss something really important in this post.

This weekend, I had a very scary experience involving unwanted sexual contact. I wasn't raped, but I was sexually assaulted. I don't want to go into details because it's upsetting, but basically I was physically and verbally abused by a guy whom I had previously considered an acquaintance, and even a friend. Don't worry--it wasn't the new boy, B, or anyone I have ever previously posted about. However, this was a guy who I have known for awhile, who I trusted, and who I have class with this semester.

I just want to inform you all about sexual assault, and give you some resources. I know that my initial reaction after this incident on Saturday was to feel incredibly dirty, disgusting, and guilty. The man who assaulted me not only put me in physical danger, but he also verbally assaulted me, calling me a bitch and several other offensive names. Yes, he was incredibly drunk (and for the record, I was NOT drunk--I had had one alcoholic beverage but was by no means intoxicated), but alcohol is still NO EXCUSE for his actions.

In fact, even if you have been sexually, verbally, or physically abused or assaulted and you were drunk, it is still NOT okay. Sex without consent is rape. Unwanted or forced sexual contact of any kind, even touching or kissing, is still considered assault if consent is not freely given.

Please, I urge you, if you have had an experience with sexual assault or rape or abuse of ANY KIND, please do not be afraid to seek help. Tell someone. It can be a teacher, friend, relative, or authority figure. Just make sure it is someone you trust.

And please, do not be ashamed. The past couple of days have been rough for me. I feel like I somehow brought this upon myself, or to consider the fact that maybe I was "asking for it". But you know what? There is NEVER an excuse for assault of any kind.

My best friend wants me to report the incident. I'm not sure what to do. Here I am, telling you all to seek help, and I have (so far) kept silent, at least as far as police or campus authority involvement. I think I am hesitant because of how small my campus is. I had class this morning with the guy who did this to me, and it was painful. Someone I had previously trusted and thought highly of is now someone I am afraid to associate with or even go near. It isn't right.

Anyway, here are just a few of the many, many resources out there regarding this issue:

PAVE: Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment

RAINN: Rabe, Abuse, & Incest, National Network

NSVRC: National Sexual Violence Resource Center

On a random positive note, I promised you photos. So, here's a photo of me, my friend Kim, and the new sweet guy B at the bar a couple weeks ago:

B has been really awesome. We're not "dating" exactly, but we have been spending time together talking and hanging out, and we have kissed. He is incredibly sweet and respects women, which is something we all deserve in a man, don't you think?

Hopefully my next post will be more positive. Until then, my bloggie friends! ........

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"I Need to Be Honest With You..."

Those were the words D nervously said to me when we finally talked about everything on the phone earlier this week. I had been brainstorming with my roommates about the best possible way to let him down without being a complete bitch, and it turns out I never got the chance.

Our conversation went a little something like this:

D: I need to be honest with you about something...

Coco: Ok. Go ahead.

D: Well, I saw my ex-girlfriend last night, and it brought back a lot of emotions.


Coco: Ok...

D: And, well, she and I have decided to give it another shot and try to make things work. So, well, I just don't think I'm going to be able to pursue anything with you while I'm focused on that.

Coco: *giggles* Ok, then. Well, good luck with all that.

D: Are you ok? Are you upset?

Coco: No, this is great! I'm so happy for you!

...and then we small-talked awkwardly. Haven't spoken to him since.

Isn't that weird?! I swear, this guy has some legitimate emotional issues. One day he is literally obsessed with me, and the next he's back with the "love of his life"?! Phew, it's exhausting. Oh well--he can have her!


Tuesday night I skipped night class so I could drive home and go to the So You Think You Can Dance Season 7 Live Tour in Baltimore! It was amazing! My mom & I went for drinks & appetizers at a swanky bar before the show--my treat! I'm such a good daughter, hehe. Then I slept in my own bed before driving back to SU yesterday.

Tonight, I'm working at the coffeehouse. One guy I think is adorably sexy is performing at open mic night, so that will be fun. Also, B (the new football player/artist boy interest) said he might visit me.

Speaking of B, tomorrow he invited me over to watch a movie and split a bottle of wine with him. I am SO excited. He is such a sweet guy, and I think it will be a lot of fun. I'm interested in him, and he seems interested in me as well, but we're both also really chill and laid-back and relaxed, and we're not looking for anything too serious. So, hopefully it'll be a good time.

So, that's my update. I'll blog again after the weekend. Other than hanging with B and working Saturday night, I don't have any solid plans--but I'm sure I'll manage to get into something exciting ;-)

Question: What are you up to this weekend???

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Weirdest Semester of My College Career

I don't even know where to begin with this post.

This has easily been the weirdest, most exciting/random/exhilarating/scary/FUN semester of my entire college career.

So, first things first: let me update you on my date last Monday. D arrived a little late due to lots of rain & traffic, but he got here around 6pm. We walked into town for a nice dinner, which he bought. We had good conversation, and I felt an attraction to him. The major turnoff physically was his height, but I'm not a mega-bitch and it really didn't bother me that much.

So, after dinner, we came back to my place and just hung out and watched a movie and chatted, which was nice. Then we started making out....and then somehow all of my clothes were off. Um, oops. I honestly did NOT want to do that! But I guess I was living in the moment. Anyway, he ended up staying the night and leaving early in the morning before my 10am class. It was a really nice time, and he seemed like a really sweet guy. Basically, we agreed to just kinda see what happens and maybe hang out again when we're both available. But since he goes to school 3 hours away, and I am graduating soon, we talked about how a big commitment just isn't in the cards right now.

So, I thought things were good. Then, almost as soon as he left, D texted me. And then he texted me again. And again. And again. Basically, this guy is INTENSE. He literally has texted/called me/IMed me NONSTOP in the past week since our date. At first I thought it was cute to get messages about how beautiful and awesome I am, but it is really starting to freak me out. He tells me how much he misses me, but we've only hung out ONCE. And he got jealous when I told him I was STUDYING with my friend Adam for a test. Like, seriously?! If he's this possessive and clingy when we're NOT EVEN DATING, what would he be like in a relationship???

So, 2 nights ago, I had a serious chat with D on the phone. Basically, he is really into me and wants to "make this work". But, I feel like I don't want to commit to someone I hardly know. He already is talking about visiting me again next week, and he wants to see me over Thanksgiving Break. I just feel smothered. He is a nice guy, and attractive, and smart, and funny, but I can't take this constant communication. In fact, he literally just sent me a message right this second.

Someone PLEASE give me advice. ASAP. I don't know what to do.
I don't want to hurt his feelings, and I don't necessarily want to completely kick him to the curb, either. I had a lot of fun on our date, and he seemed like such a cool guy. But his behavior in the last week has really freaked me out, and he doesn't seem to understand my position.



So, last night was another interesting evening, but in a much more positive way! I went to a Breast Cancer Awareness event held by ZTA called "Real Men Wear Pink", which was entertaining and fun. Then I went out to a party and to the bar with some friends, including my roommate Kelly, who I've grown incredibly close with. She is the only roomie I've told about my ED, and I really feel like I can trust her.

So, there was this guy I'll call B who I ended up meeting up with last night. We met last weekend, and he is the sweetest boy ever! He plays football for our school, but he isn't your cliche "meathead" jock. He's an art major and he is really intelligent and funny and interesting. Lookswise, he's not the hottest man alive, but his personality MORE than makes up for it. And he is pretty cute. So, last night we went to the bar together and he bought me a drink and we talked. Then, I went back to his place with him to hang out and talk and watch a movie. He showed me his art (which was incredibly impressive!) and then we just cuddled a little and he gave me a little peck on the lips and I fell asleep there!

Nothing sexual happened...and it was perfect. Seriously. He was a really nice guy with a good heart, and I hope I see him again.

I still am not looking for anything serious right now, but I'm sick of random hookups all the time. I'm sick of guys texting me at 3am asking me to come over. I don't want to be that girl. I'm ashamed that I even let myself become that girl for one guy, let alone 2 or 3. As of now, I need to make my boundaries clear. And this B guy seems to really respect women. He is close friends with one of my close friends, and she has told me how sweet he is.

So, today he texted me to say hi. We'll see what happens. As long as he doesn't go psycho on me like D, perhaps I'd rather hang with this guy instead. Or both? haha.

Anyway, people, give me advice. I need the male and female perspectives here:
What's the deal with D--is he really just a nice guy who doesn't realize how smothering he is being, or does he seem like a creeper who would only be possessive and overbearing in a relationship?

(Oh, I also had a huge test last week, 2 essays, and I have another test this week....So, it's not ALL fun and games my last semester of college :-P)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Date Night

Happy (rainy) Monday, folks!

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend. Here in Pennsylvania it was HOT HOT HOT Friday and Saturday, and then yesterday it coooooled off. Today, it's cool and rainy and oh-so-very-autumn outside.

So, what have I been up to?

Well, this weekend was pretty typical, but I really took my feelings and thoughts about last weekend to heart. I still went out and drank and had a great time with my friends, but I paced myself this time and didn't put myself in compromising situations. For example, Friday night at the bar, this guy asked if I wanted to "get out of here", which I knew was code for "get in your pants". So, I declined and went home--by myself. I need to learn to be firm and say NO. And to get the message across that NO MEANS NO.

Saturday, there was a festival in town that I attended with my friend. We walked around and observed the people, food, and festivities. It totally got me in the mood for fall!

Then, since 2 of my roommates went home for the weekend, K and I were by ourselves. We really bonded. We went shopping, ate all our meals together, and she died my hair a shade of light brown called "amber shimmer", which has a nice hint of red. Perfect for fall, and I really love it! K is a natural redhead, so I think she wanted me to be like her....

...see what I mean?!

Then Saturday night, I attended a Surprise 21st Birthday Party for a friend of mine. It was adorable. Then I went to a party and to the bar. The night was definitely interesting and fun-filled in terms of male interactions and experiencing my roommate drunk for the first time ever, but I managed to be home and in bed by 2:30. I was safe, didn't drink too much, and felt totally fine the next day. Now, the roomie is another story....haha. She ended up getting sick so I had to take care of her. But I don't judge--I know she would easily do the same for me.

So, why the title of my post?

Well, friends, I have a DATE tonight. A real, official date! I am SO incredibly nervous and excited. It's kind of a random situation. Basically, there is this guy (whom I will call D for privacy's sake) that I graduated with in high school. We were never really in the same crowd (he was a band geek, I was in theatre), but we were acquainted and had a few classes together over those 4 years. Well, recently we have "reconnected" on Facebook. It sounds silly, but it's the truth. We started chatting online, then texting, then talking on the phone. He is a student at a college in West Virginia that is about 2.5 hours from my school in PA. So, he offered to drive up this afternoon so we can catch up in person and see how things go. So far, things have been pretty flirtatious, but it's really rather hard to make an assessment about where things might go without an actual live date! So, he is going to arrive around 5pm. I plan to show him around campus and then we will walk into town for a nice dinner and maybe some drinks. It's a shame that it's raining, but oh well.

So, wish me luck with D! I am super nervous, mostly because I haven't really been on an official "date" with someone in a very long time. And I actually feel like there could be something between us, so it makes me anxious and hoping I make a good impression. I have no idea what to wear!

I'll be sure to recap very soon.

Wish me luck, and send me some confidence--I am shakin' in my boots here!

Any good conversation topics for first dates???

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Only Tuesday

How can it be only Tuesday?! Last week flew by, and this one is barely crawling. Does anyone else feel this way?

I would be more excited about the GLEE! Premiere tonight if I didn't have night class. Therefore, I'm going to have to catch up online later tonight or tomorrow--so don't spoil it for me, fellow Gleeks!

Anyway, thanks for your support on my last post! It was definitely an emotional weekend when I stopped to look back on this past year and the troubles I've faced, but I still managed to have a good time.

In fact, I am beginning to think maybe I'm having too much fun this last semester of college. I know I'm making up for lost time and all that, and I know I'm 22 and this is my last chance to party before joining the "real world", but I can't help but question myself. I like to have fun and be social and go out and get a little tipsy and dance and flirt and even kiss a few lucky men, but the past couple weeks have been out of control.

This past Saturday, I was up until the sun came up. It was 6am on Sunday when I finally fell asleep--in someone else's bed. I know that sounds totally slutty of me, and well, it kind of is. Which is why I am really starting to think twice about my alcohol consumption on the weekends. Just because people justify binge drinking and doing drugs and having sex with multiple partners by saying "Oh, it's just college", or "I'm young, now's the time to do that", it still doesn't make it healthy. I woke up Sunday morning--ok, more like afternoon--feeling sick to my stomach and emotionally distraught as well. This is the 4th time I have hooked up with this one particular guy, and I know that he is basically using me for sex. We were both very very intoxicated when things occurred this weekend. And although I sometimes hang out with him sober (he even came to visit me at work on Sunday) and he is a nice guy, I really don't want to get emotionally involved with someone who is willing to take advantage of me like that. I mean, I take full responsibility for my actions, and he was just as drunk as I was, if not worse, but still. Our relationship, if it can even be called that, is so confusing. It's a pattern of hook-up on the weekends, maybe talk sporadically during the week, and act like friends when we are sober. But then when we're at a party together and he holds my hand and walks me home and kisses me and then wants me to spend the night so we can cuddle, it makes things so much more confusing. I keep telling myself that I don't have feelings for him and that I'm totally cool with this casual "friends with benefits" relationship. But I know deep down that I'm not okay with it. I deserve to be respected, as a friend and as a woman.

So, I'm not sure what this even means, or why I posted about such a personal topic (my sex life--yikes!) on this blog. However, saying it out loud (or technically, "typing" it out loud) makes it real. I need to think through the consequences of my actions, both physical and emotional, before I go through with something. Hopefully next weekend I will have fun but still manage to remain respectful of myself.

What are your opinions on college partying? Is it normal and acceptable and something everyone should experience, or do you think destructive behaviors are a dangerous epidemic among college students?

I fall somewhere in between. I see no problem with enjoying your youth and having fun, but I also think that too much drinking, sex, smoking, etc, can be incredibly detrimental to your physical--and mental--health.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Year Ago Today

Ok, so the big "day" I'm referring to in my post is actually tomorrow, but I felt like posting about it today. So, here we go...

A year ago today...

  • I made one of the most difficult decisions of my life
  • I finally reached out for help--and accepted it with humility
  • I checked myself into the hospital by my own accord and no one else's
  • I cried more than I have ever cried in a single day in my life
  • I also ate more in a single day than I had in a very long time
  • I was told I might not make it through the night because my blood sugar and heart rate were so low
  • I watched my parents walk away, and wondered when I would see them again
  • I met some amazing girls, men, and women who I will never, EVER forget
  • I gave up my education, relationships, and everything else so that I could finally get better
  • I tried to stay strong and follow all the rules
  • I felt disgusting and huge and worthless and didn't care if I died overnight
  • But then I thought about my family, and my friends, and about my future children, and I knew I needed to bite the bullet and recover

Since then...

  • I have made many gains, both in my weight and in my mind
  • I have also "slipped up" more times than I can count
  • I have felt ashamed, alone, and disgusted with myself
  • But I also have felt loved, beautiful, and happy
  • I have lost and gained and lost and gained
  • I have gone from inpatient to IOP to outpatient
  • I have gone from no school to living at home and commuting, to finally living on my own again

A year from now...

  • I don't know where I'll be...and for once, I'm ok with that
  • I know that the road is going to have many bumps and that the mountains I will climb will be unbearable
  • But I also know that the view from the top is worth it, and I refuse to give up
  • Maybe I'll be living at home again, and maybe I'll be in my own place
  • But what I do know is that, a year from now...
  • I will be living. Not existing, or barely scraping by. Living.

* p.s. my grandfather has been released from the hospital and is now home and recovering wonderfully. thank goodness. *

Monday, September 13, 2010

With the Good Also Comes the Bad

Hello, friends. Happy Monday!
I hope everyone had a relaxing, fulfilling weekend.

My life has been crazy lately. I am getting back into the school/work/homework/sleep routine, and it's been difficult at times, but I am managing. I already have a lot of quizzes, projects, meetings, and reading, but I am making sure to take time each day to read for pleasure, or take a walk, or do a few restorative yoga poses. It is definitely worth it to carve out 15 minutes of "me" time each day--I feel so much better, and am more productive overall!

So, the title of my post basically sums up my situation right now.

Some positives in my life recently are:

1. A great roommate situation. The girls in my apartment are fantastic, and we have really grown close.

2. A crazy social life! I feel like I am really having fun here. I have made girl friends and guy friends, and I have been letting loose on the weekends and allowing myself to drink and snack without feeling any guilt whatsoever. This is a huge deal for me. For example, last Thursday, I was getting ready to go to bed around 9:30pm when my friends invited me to the bar for drinks. Ordinarily, this would freak me out because it is sporadic and unplanned. However, I was actually pleased and excited to be invited out, and I ended up going and having a wild and crazy time. Ok, so maybe I regretted the tequila shot and 3 beers the next day because of my headache, but I did not berate myself about it. And I didn't once worry about the calories. This is amazing to me. I am so proud of myself.

3. I got to see my mom, cat, and best friend this Friday. I went home because my mom was having a party, and it was nice to see some familiar faces--and sleep in my big Queen-sized bed at home!

But, as always, with the good comes the bad. That's life.

Bad things recently:

1. I had my first quiz in my Learning & Motivation class...and it was incredibly difficult. I am not looking forward to getting my grade on that one.

2. There was a guy who I was interested in who has pretty much blown me off. I'm trying not to dwell on it, and I want to enjoy my singledom, but it's still a bit of an ego killer.

3. My grandfather, who is 84 years old, had to have emergency open heart surgery this past Friday. When my mom and dad called with the news, I was shocked and upset. Luckily, he has been recovering well, and is out of the intensive care unit, but still has to stay in the hospital for the next week so he can be monitored. I know that he is old, and that life and death are natural cycles, but it still is difficult to know that someone close to me is deteriorating. My grandparents live in Pittsburgh, which is a good 4 hours from my college, but I think I am going to make the journey out there sometime in the next week or so. Family is worth it.


So, things have been good and bad. And that's ok. I am dealing, and I am dealing in a much healthier way than I would have dealt even a few months ago.

Do I still feel the urge to restrict when I'm upset, or to go run 5 miles? Yes. I won't lie and say those thoughts don't cross my mind. They do, often more than I'd like them to. However, I am learning to ignore those thoughts and to realize that starving myself to avoid my feelings is not only unhealthy, it is downright dangerous. My body is precious, and I really need to take care of it--and fuel it--properly.

What are your favorite self-soothing techniques? Mine as of late involve yoga, breathing exercises, and losing myself in a good book.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Super Senior Year Ain't So Bad

Greetings, Friends!

Here are some photos of my new life here at SU:

my room

common area (before we made it more "homey" with posters, etc)

kitchen/breakfast bar

me & the ladies before going out on saturday night!

out at a party

...and this picture sums up my mood all weekend :-)


Now, it's back to the daily grind for my second week of classes. Tonight I work @ the coffee shop from 9:30 until closing, so it will be a late night. That's ok--as long as I'm getting paid, right?!

I just got back from dinner in the caf & had the most random mix of foods: steamed broccoli, a sweet potato, baked chicken, and some veggie soup. I am trying to work on variety in my diet, and I am trying to choose things that I wouldn't ordinarily choose or that I don't have often (like the sweet potato). It's still a process, and I'm still learning, but I'm starting to be a lot calmer before, during, and after mealtimes. Blogging right now also helps.

Also, I went grocery shopping today and bought more of those delicious dark chocolate-covered banana babies that I love, as long as some other random staples, like granola bars and pretzels.

My goals for the month of September are as follows:

  • reach my goal weight (almost there!) and maintain it

  • slowly re-introduce exercise in a healthy manner

  • take time every day to do something for myself

  • keep up with my studies without getting too stressed out

  • allow myself to have fun (but not too much fun! haha)

What are your goals this month?

Friday, September 3, 2010

College Life

Oh, hey there.

Sorry I haven't been consistently posting, but for the first time since my ED, I've actually been living the dream. Staying out late, sleeping in, and eating delicious greasy college food.

...And drinking my weight in alcohol. Which a year ago I never would have allowed myself to do (too many calories and blah blah blah).

Last night I worked until midnight and still managed to have a great time afterwards. I've made so many new friends, and gotten closer to old ones as well. I've had so much fun since I moved in, and this is only just the beginning!

I think it's finally starting to click for me. Food doesn't have to be scary. It doesn't have to be the enemy. If I want an apple, I'll eat an apple. If I want a piece of cake, I'll eat a piece of cake. It's all about balance, people. Instead of depriving myself of the things I like, I'm learning to indulge in them--in moderation. Try it. Seriously. I used to be SO afraid that if I ate one cookie I'd eat the whole box. But that's not true. Our bodies know what they want. And if I do end up eating a few too many cookies (such as during an evening of drinking)? Oh well. It's not the end of the world.

Food is losing its power over me. I finally feel like I am moving on with my life again.

This weekend, take a moment to sit down in a quiet, calm space, and reflect on your life as it is right now. Make a list of 5 things you are grateful for. Even if everything is in shambles and you feel lost and alone, I guarantee you can think of something. It can be as simple as "the sun is shining today" or "i like the color of my nail polish" or "i made my bed today". Even the little things in life can be powerful.

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Last First Day of School

Phew! I am exhausted, and the day isn't even near being through!

So, I moved into my on-campus apartment on Friday. One of my roommates, Kelly, was here already. She is a junior transfer student majoring in Political Science. She has red hair and wears funky clothes and is totally awesome. We hit it off right away. Then, on Sunday, the other 2 girls moved in. Kristin is a junior Elementary Ed major who also does hurdles & the high jump in track. She is tall, blonde, and absolutely gorgeous. She is also such a sweet girl, and we had dinner together last night. Then there is Rebeka, who is a sophomore Environmental Science major. She has brown hair that is long and straight (down to her butt, seriously!), and she is a little shy but also really sweet. Last night, she and I and Kelly went to Charlie's Coffeehouse (where I work--tonight is wing night and I work from 7 til 10--free wings with any drink purchase. It is going to be so crowded ughh) for open mic night. We sat on couches and chatted, and it was really nice.

So, I am super relieved that my roommates and I seem to have hit it off, at least so far. I think it's going to be a really great semester.

Today, I had an appointment at the Counseling Center with my new therapist. I was super nervous, but she was great and really put me at ease. Next week I will start nutritional counseling as well. I really think this semester is going to be awesome.

I only had one class today--Women's Studies. There were about 30 women and 2 men in the class--haha! The teacher is a wild and crazy and outspoken woman but she has a great heart. I can't wait for the semester. I was browsing through the topics and eating disorders is something we will discuss. I am excited and nervous at the same time. I'm excited because I'm glad we're going to be covering an issue that is so important for women. But I'm nervous and anxious because what if something upsets me? And should I speak up about my experiences or keep quiet? I guess I'll have to just see how things go in the coming weeks.

Tomorrow I have a busy day. 2 classes during the day, and a night class (Cult Films--heck yes!) from 6:30-10pm! yikesss. I'm usually in my PJ's by 10! haha.


So, this weekend was wild.
Over the top.
And you know what?

I'm weirdly ok with it.

Saturday night, I met up with a bunch of girls and we drank and went to 2 parties and then the bar. I also met a guy. I will call him J, for privacy's sake. He graduated already (Biomedical Engineering, smart AND cute--woo!), but from a different college. He was visiting some friends. Anyway, we ended up spending the whole night together, and he went with me from party to party and to the bar. Then he came back to my building with me....I won't go into details, but things may or may not have occurred. I admit that I woke up the next morning feeling a bit regretful, especially because I realize that, although we had great conversation the whole night and he seemed really awesome, all he probably wanted was sex. And he lives in another state and my chances of ever seeing him again are very slim. I feel like I let alcohol cloud my judgement and caused me to do something I normally take months with a person to do.

However, the plus side is this--I am so proud of myself for being confident enough in my body to bare it all in front of a man! Even if the alcohol made it happen, I still feel like I let myself enjoy the moment and for once, I wasn't worried about how I looked to him. After all, ladies, let's be honest--if you're naked with a guy, all he is thinking is "YES! I am the luckiest man alive right now! I have a naked girl in my room!" They aren't going to say "Oh you know what? Your boobs are two different sizes and you have love handles, so I think you should put your clothes back on and leave.". Believe me, men are a lot less critical of women's bodies than we ourselves are.

So, although I made a somewhat "skanky" choice this weekend, I realize that this is actually a big positive step for me in recovery. I allowed myself to drink without caring about calories, to go out and be social, and to allow a man to see my naked body without worrying what he would think. So, all sluttiness aside, GO ME!

Have you ever made a "risky" decision while drinking? Do you regret it, or did you learn to accept it and move on?


I've probably shared WAY too much. Anyway, I'm off to grab dinner in the caf with a friend before heading to work.

I'm doing surprisingly well with the campus food. Last night, my roomie and I had pizza, and it was effing delicious. Did it have a lot of greasy, fatty calories? Uh yeah, probably. But does it really matter? Um, not really. It tasted good and satisfied my hunger, and that's all that matters.

Oh, and I woke up this morning to a surprise visit from Mother Nature--
that's right, I GOT MY PERIOD!
I literally have not gotten it in over a year. I almost screamed, out of shock or joy I'm not sure. But in any case, I am so happy.

It has been a busy but altogether satisfying few days. I hope the rest of my week goes well.

How are you all doing? I've been reading your blogs and I'm proud of so many of you for stepping outside your comfort zones and facing your fears.

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