Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Walking away from disordered eating and all its lies is very hard. But in doing so, I have found that one of the greatest joys of my life has been returning to me: my love of baking. There really wasn't much fun in baking when at various times I thought that either white flour, sugar, butter, milk or eggs were the Devil incarnate seeking to enslave and destroy me and all of humanity.

I love baking, not just because it is creative and potentially artistic, but also because it is chemistry. It is science! Mwahahaha! I am the mad baking scientist!
Behold my glorious creation!
The bending and using of baking's rules and chemical reactions to create something earlier only imagined in my mind is very exciting and thrilling.  There are times I am so high from it that I say things like, "I will bake something new every day!" or, "I must have my own bakery and share my joy and creations with the world!" even "I will take over the world with my cookies!"

Perhaps I will do all of that. Ok, I've never said that last bit. But the rest, the rest all seem like very good ideas most of the time.

I've thought about starting a blog devoted to baking, but a quick google search reveals that those are a dime a dozen. It also would require a lot more time and effort than I have at my disposal right now, caring for a 4-year-old and a 15-month-old.  It would become just one more thing on my plate that I would end up resenting and doing half-assed.

Sometimes, I think we are too eager to take what we love, what brings us joy, and monetize it. In order for the thing we enjoy to truly have inherent value and be "worth our time", it must make us money, or bring us fame, or add something socially valuable to our lives. The joy it provides is never enough.

What if my baking is enough as it is? Is that such a radical idea? I enjoy baking. But I don't want to bake for money. I don't know that I really want to bake for anyone else, especially if money is involved. (How terrifically selfish, and honest, of me...) This attitude is very likely to keep me from ever improving our financial station, I realize that. I feel quite affable toward that decision.

As it is, baking is enriching my life and making me happy. I am going to let that be enough.

...however, I am a creative, artistic person. I reserve the right to change my mind at any time. ; )

Sunday, December 29, 2013


^ last year ^
Last year I made a resolution for 2013 on the heels of my husband's hospitalization with complications from type 2 diabetes. It was a vague, but purposeful, "to be the healthiest I/we've ever been." Admirable, sure. The good news is it did begin to happen; however the reality of it coming into being looked very, very different than I could've ever imagined.

Now that the year is drawing to a close and I reflect upon it in hindsight, I see that the greatest things to change are the eyes with which I see myself, and the scale by which I measure health. Though I said one thing at the start of 2013, my mental projection was something else, something more specific and narrow - I thought along the lines of weight loss, exercise, diet. Maybe physical strength, too. But in my planning, I neglected the things that were in fact more important to true health: sleep, mental health, self-love, moderation, balance. Thankfully, those important, neglected things were the things dealt with as the year progressed.

I am the healthiest I have ever been, but I am still not healthy. I don't look any different really than a year ago. I weigh about the same, wear the same clothes, I don't run any faster or lift significantly heavier. What progression and changes that have happened, have happened all in my mind and thought life. I can recognize when I am motivated by self-loathing, I can recognize when I am not eating enough, when I am depressed, and I do not feel trapped by these mental prisons anymore. I am not free from them, not yet, but I can at least see them for what they are and change my behaviors in that moment. That is progress.

My resolution this year is to continue on this journey of being my healthiest ever. Even if that means I gain weight. :) My specific goal is to exercise less, and sit with and play with my children more. (This is a huge goal for me, as I am recovering from anorexia athletica, and orthorexia.) I plan on eating all the things that I have spent years feeling guilty about wanting and enjoying. And to enjoy them! I hope to begin to learn how to be present in all things: when I am eating, when I exercise, when I am with my kids, or reading a book - whatever I do, to be all there and not thinking about what else needs to happen or may happen next, or how I look or if I feel fat.

Health is not weight loss, as I thought it was. Health is not the adherence to a set diet of any kind; it is not the exclusion of junk foods, it is not the inclusion of fruits and vegetables. Health is like a long mathematic equation to which there are many, many factors. Having a pristine diet and exercise regimen, but being mentally ill, or suffering from insomnia, or depression, or losing your hair or your period, or developing an eating disorder - these are huge red flags that a person is, in fact, in some capacity, unhealthy. Sometimes, nay most times, the answer is a small subtle change, like not having coffee after noon, or not watching tv in bed, to help you sleep better, or taking a short family walk after dinner every evening. These small changes are not only the easiest to implement, they are the most sustainable. As Galadriel said in Lord of the Rings, "Even the smallest person can change the course of the future." To make it relevant: Even the smallest change can improve your overall health. :)

I wish health and happiness for you all this upcoming New Year!