Reflection

14 Mar

A Reflection on my Progress

I thought it was time to reflect on my recovery over the past few months. This blog was originally started with the intention of documenting my progress and keeping myself accountable and I am so glad I have been able to do that while also gaining such amazing support from so many of you. I think it is important that I take some time to recognize how far I‘ve come because I’ve found it so easy to forget how I used to be and not give myself as much credit as I may deserve. The time where I was the most starved is almost a blur (which is probably a good thing) but I still think I should be able to acknowledge that so much progress has been made. I know i’ve written about my ‘story’ but I wanted to take some time to reflect again. So, if you’re interested (totally ok if you aren’t), follow me on my journey to real health & happiness πŸ™‚

June 2009:

This is where it all truly began in my opinion for better or for worse. Though dieting had been on my mind for months, I had never taken action that had led to serious weight loss. Around this time, I really began losing weight as a result of diet changes over the past month or so. My starting weight was around a 22.1 BMI (TOTALLY healthy) but I simply wanted to lose a few pounds to tone up. By the end of June, I was down to a BMI of about 19.6. This was drastically different, but I was still “healthy.” I remember feeling good at this weight and not wanting to lose more.

I was very restrictive in my eating at this point though because I really didn’t want to gain my weight back. I don’t want to be too specific due to a fear of others getting “ideas” about bad dieting habits, but I will say that I wouldn’t touch bread that was not low carb, I ate nothing that was full fat, even bananas had to be cut in half, and chips/pretzels/even BARS were out of the question. Breakfast & lunch were always identical (at least in calorie amounts) & dinner was more of a toss-up (which caused so much anxiety every day). It was around this time that my running began to increase and I would run at least 3-3.5 miles a day (If i did 3 I felt like it wasn’t enough) with little-to-no snacking. (a snack might be an apple)

By the end-ish of Β June, this is what I looked like. Clearly border-line if not already too skinny.

July-August

The trend continued. I was moody, ALWAYS cold (despite the fact that iw as freaking summer), energy-less & all I cared about was working out, tanning/laying out by the pool, & eating as little as possible while still being full (aka- salads). It was no way to live but yet I did not think anything was wrong with me! When people would comment that I had lost too much weight, I would say “I know, and I definitely don’t want to lose more!” Despite this, i DID CONTINUE TO LOSE. My fear of gaining led me to completely restrict & my weight just went down down down…. My parents became really worried & I was taken to a medical doctor who explained how serious my condition is and how I must gain weight at college. I agreed, half-heartedly, knowing very well that Gertrude was going to dominate this situation for sure.

This is me on the first day of college

Here my BMI was around 17.6. I was clearly underweight and thought that I was perfectly fine. My parents were under the impression that I would be gaining weight, but with the pressure of school/meeting new people I only got more engulfed by my eating disorder.

September-November

I would exercise every.single.day. I constantly compared myself to others around me. Even though I knew I was supposed to be gaining, other girls eating salads made me feel like I could too. Running was even more compulsive & the eating habits continued to be unhealthy. I had no clue that I was starving myself. I still was in denial and was completely dominated by my eating disorder. I became introverted and not myself at all.

I was disappearing. (note: it pains me to show these pictures, but I’m going to). I DESPISE the way I look in this picture… it creeps me out.

Somehow I still did not think a thing was wrong. My bones literally were sticking out. I was a skeleton, but yet I continued to exercise my butt off & eat NO real fat, very little real carbs, & never carbs at dinner (to name a very small amount of my “rules”)

This is a weird picture, but it shows how scary I got.

but this post is about so much more than how far I have come with respect to looks. I have come so far with respect to how I think, act, and behave (& of course… how much I weigh). The girl you see above at any given time had two things (& two things ONLY) on her mind (exercise & eating). The girl above didn’t stay out late with her friends because she was too tired and didn’t treat her boyfriend the way he deserved to be treated. The girl above was sad, lonely, confused & ashamed but didn’t want to change. The girl above counted calories when she was bored in class. The girl above was a slave to her scale & to the treadmill. The girl above was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. The girl above is not me and NEVER will be me again.

I was lucky enough to have an amazing family & boyfriend to support me and help me realize I need real help. When my parents came to visit me, they realized how severely underweight I had become. This weekend I completely pigged out with them because I wanted to show them that I could do this. However, when they left it was right back to my old ways and I lost the weight I may have gained that weekend. I did start to make gradual changes. I started eating real bread all the time, no excuses, exercising a little bit less (but still a lot), & eating more in general. I let myself have things like pretzels/other carbs, I let myself have snacks (sometimes). I also started my blog. This was a real life changer. I got so much support & was able to talk to others about their recovery & it helped me so much. I realized i wasn’t alone. I liked when people would tell me that a meal looked small because it pushed me to make them bigger. I suddenly felt a rush of desire to recover.

The next time my parents visited my weight was up a few pounds, which made them happy, but clearly it was not enough still.

I started to drink ensure-pluses and was beginning to admit I had a problem. It was decided that I would attend Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) over winter break. This was also my life saver. I got a meal plan & was forced to stay on track. I met some people who I will never forget (Brandi & Jessi) & I learned A LOT about the mindset that I have allowed to form due to my ed.

I never thought i’d benefit from something like Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Skills (DBT) but I truly have. DBT skills have allowed me to change myΒ mind-set and learn how to cope with negative feelings.

I slowly started to gain life again. I came back to school in such an amazing place. I was following my meal plan & had SO much more energy. My friends noticed an immediate change, not in my appearance, but rather in our interactions and my personality. I was finally the outgoing, fun, loud, goofy me again!!

Now

& now I am about two pounds from my goal weight. I know weight doesn’t define recovery, not even close, but the fact that I am almost entirely weight restored makes me feel so empowered. It is scary and of course there is still the fear of never-ending weight gain (which of course is not realistic whatsoever). There are so many fewer fear foods now. I realize that any food can be eaten in moderation and will NOT make me fat. I eat pretzels/chips, full fat cheese, real bread, full fat dressing, moe than a tablespoon of peanut butter, etc. I also can eat more spontaneously now. I am not afraid of a little sample or how many calories are in my gum (craaazyyyy).

& I totally pulled a snackface the other day- here I ammmm πŸ™‚ I liked this outfit!


It is true thatΒ once you are at a healthier weight, you are able to think differently and more rationally. I now can’t believe I didn’t want to recover at first! Why wouldn’t I want to be healthy and able to fully live my life? It makes no sense, but it is all part of the disorder. I am so excited to continue this journey and continue to grow and learn more about myself.

I am so proud of how far i’ve come. I’m proud that I was able to pull myself out of a dark time that I didn’t even recognize as a problem. I am proud that I have found happiness. I know this journey isn’t over yet, and I still have to fight, but I also know that I can do this. I WILL be fully recovered.


To name a few things I am still working on:

1. Body Image- I want to be able to avoid fat days and feel good about myself most of the time!

2. Fear foods- I still tend to stick to safer options. Even though they definitely are enough, I think I need to venture out and try some new things!

3. Exercise- I don’t want to associate exercise with calories. I want to do it for pure fun/health/endorphins and not to burn calories.


This was one long post! If you stuck with me, thanks and I am so glad that I have such a great support system. You all mean so much to me and I will have a regular post soon!

xoxooxoxox

Shelleyβ™₯

One of the most difficult things everyone has to learn is that for your entire life you must keep fighting and adjusting if you hope to survive. No matter who you are or what your position is you must keep fighting for whatever it is you desire to achieve.
~George Allen

Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make you a far happier and more productive person.
~David M. Burns

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102 Responses to “Reflection”

  1. kbwood March 14, 2010 at 9:30 pm #

    Shell- i literally had chill bumps reading this. WOW. you are amazing. i know what you mean about looking at pics that creep you out-it PAINS me to look at myself when i was so sick. and you are SO RIGHT..THAT girl was diagnosed w. an ED..NOT the girls we are now!! we are OURSELVES now, the women God called us to be!
    you are so beautiful, with such a beautiful heart. ive loved watching this wonderful journey youve been on. you will never, ever go back there again. i love you girl! i so wish we could meet!

  2. Amanda @ . seek . March 14, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

    I loved this post, Shelley. It’s so great to see how far you have come! You should be super proud of yourself for all of the progress you’ve made, both mentally and physically… you look absolutely gorgeous πŸ™‚

    Your story and determination to keep getting better are truly inspirational. Love you girl! ❀

  3. Lily @ Lily's Health Pad March 14, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    Shelley, you are amazing! I’m so impressed with your ability to let go of the ED. You are so strong to put this part of your life in the past.

  4. Danielle March 14, 2010 at 9:35 pm #

    Girl, this was a beautiful post πŸ™‚
    “but this post is about so much more than how far I have come with respect to looks” <– I loved reading that! True recovery happens in your mind (in my opinion) πŸ™‚

    You look gorgeous!

  5. brianna March 14, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    wow an amazing story. you look soo good and happy in the last picture! cute outfit!

  6. naturalnonsense March 14, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    It takes such a strong person to be able to share things like this and that is exactly what you are! I respect you so much for posting this. I am incrediably happy for you for coming so far! You are a beautiful person, and your happiness and recovery is totally showing through your pictures and your words. Congrats, beautiful!
    PS – that outfit is GREAT!

  7. blueeyedheart March 14, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    I love love love love this post. You are such a strong and inspiring idividual!

    ❀ ❀

  8. Maggie @ Fit.Fun.Food March 14, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

    This is a really amazing story, girl! I agree with kbwood–I got chills! You are so strong and so beautiful and the way you’ve changed your life shows how powerful you are and how much you control your ED! Congratulations! You really are a role model!

  9. Caitlyn (Letters from the Oasis) March 14, 2010 at 9:48 pm #

    Go Shelly Go!
    Sometimes you need to check out the grass on the other side to see that it’s not so green. Having gone through this journey and have left your true self behind for a period of time, you can more confidently go back to being YOU and know that that’s who you want to be. You look perfect the way you are! A good way to exercise for fun, Ignore all numbers in general. If you’re running don’t check mileage, pace, calories, or time… if you’re doing sit ups or repetitions, don’t count. Just listen to your body.

  10. Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place March 14, 2010 at 9:50 pm #

    I wish I had written down all of my feelings during my recovery period like you have. You will look back on this blog 10 years from now and be so proud of how far you’ve come!!!!

  11. Ava March 14, 2010 at 9:50 pm #

    This was a fantastic post! I’ve been reading your blog since day 1 and it still amazes me how far you have gotten so quickly (especially mentally). You really inspire me! And you look absolutely fabulous!

    – Ava

  12. Molly March 14, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    You are so beautiful and LOOK FABULOUS now! You are so brave for posting such a personal and emotional entry. I respect you so much. I am so proud that you have made such a healthy progression in the last year.

    xoxo

  13. Johanna March 14, 2010 at 10:02 pm #

    I am in awe of you. Thank you for sharing your story. I take hope in your strength and amazing-ness for my own recovery.

  14. Jenna March 14, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

    Girl! This post was so inspiring! You had me crying half way through because you have come so far in your recovery! You already know how much I love you! You are such a great motivation for me! Love ya girl!!
    Jenna xoxo

  15. Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce March 14, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

    right on shelley! awesome post, i am so proud of you too! i think it’s great that you did this sort of timeliney thing to really document how far you’ve come. it makes me sad to think about how that “other girl” suffered, but i am glad she never has to again! love you girl! and that outfit is bangin πŸ˜‰

  16. Meg's Gut March 14, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

    What an amazing post!
    You look absolutely stunning in your new photos, very healthy looking (not in a bad way!) and you just look like you’re glowing!
    Great job!

  17. Tori March 14, 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    I enjoyed reading this and seeing how far you’ve come. It seems like it all happened really fast for you. I don’t know if you’ve heard this but I learned that the sooner an ED is recognized and treated, the easier it is to recover. I think you are one lucky girl to have realized your problem, and found the strength to overcome it. Some people struggle for years just to be able to do that very thing. Your story is really inspiring!

    ❀ Tori

  18. *Andrea* March 14, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    LOVE this post! you are so honest and genuine. not to mention GORGEOUS. you look so much healthier and happier now – congrats at almost being your goal weight. i hate thinking in terms of numbers with weight and calories eaten or burned too. i think you will totally be able to do this. you are so strong!!! XOXO

  19. Brittany March 14, 2010 at 10:38 pm #

    Everytime I read such an honest post like this I wish I could send it to every girl struggling with body image. I’m so happy I came across your blog and I can’t wait to keep checking back!

  20. Lauren (BIOCHEMISTA) March 14, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    You are truly amazing girl!!! πŸ™‚

    Xoxoxox

  21. glidingcalm March 14, 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    Beautiful, beautiful post!!! You are amazing!! Thanks for taking the time to share- it was amazing to read!!!

    Hugs!!!!

  22. My Organic Intuition March 14, 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    what a great post! thank you so much for sharing your story- you look BEAUTIFUL!

  23. Jocelyn @ Peace.Love.Nutrition March 14, 2010 at 11:10 pm #

    Hey girl! You are amazing. And so strong! We are both so lucky we had such supportive family and freinds to help us recover from our EDs : )

    Such an inspiration!

    xo

    jocelyn

  24. brianna March 15, 2010 at 12:08 am #

    You are such an amazing girl! Thank you so much for sharing your story!

  25. Gina March 15, 2010 at 12:22 am #

    Hey! I’m Gina and I have been reading your blog for a while now, and I wanted to tell you how amazing you are. I’m also in your situation; gaining weight and recovering from an eating disorder, so I know how hard it can be. But you are truly inspiring and seeing that you can do it gives me the encouragement that I too will beat this thing. btw, you are sooo pretty in the recent photos!

  26. Emi March 15, 2010 at 12:29 am #

    Wow. Honesty brings happiness and that’s exactly what you’re doing. πŸ™‚

  27. Marina March 15, 2010 at 12:38 am #

    This post shows how strong you are, and how you can do everything you want!
    I’m glad you are so much happier right now.
    Ed’s really take all the fun out of people

  28. jqlee March 15, 2010 at 12:42 am #

    I’m happy for you Shelley. You have come a long way in such a short time so stay strong and you will reach your goal weight soon girl! Mega thanks for sharing your story. It’s always inspirational to hear recovery stories from beginning to end. It helps walk some of us through the journey.

  29. julia March 15, 2010 at 3:05 am #

    I told you this before, but I recognize so much of myself in you.
    And I’m sooooooooooooooo proud and wanna give you a big hug right now! If you ever visit Europe, please visit me:)

    xxx Julia (Taste of Living)

  30. anne March 15, 2010 at 3:29 am #

    hey there,

    i’ve been reading your blog almost since the start but have never commented before.

    this post was absolutely wonderful. my frown was literally turned upside down as i progressed through your story.

    i can relate on many, many levels as i’m sure other young women can. i’m very proud of your recovery and the confidence you fully exude.

    bravo!!!!
    -anne

  31. Chillel March 15, 2010 at 4:19 am #

    WOW! That post was…just…amazing..
    You’re so so inspiring..
    ..and totally stunning..inside and out!
    x

  32. usfmeg25 March 15, 2010 at 4:33 am #

    What a beautiful post from a most definitely, BEAUTIFUl woman! You are completely gorgeous and your road to recovery is inspiring and amazing! I love it. Continue to fight! I will be right there with you fighting as well πŸ™‚

  33. ella March 15, 2010 at 4:42 am #

    I have read from the start and just adore you! I am so pleased your ED was caught fast as I believe that can make all the difference between getting better and staying better and having years of your life wasted on ED. Please keep going…it’s strange when you reach your target..it’s like, well NOW what’s my project?? but that’s just the start of living again. Wishing you lots of luck for your happy future, πŸ™‚ you are beautiful.
    x
    “The right path isn’t always the easiest one.”

  34. tatiannalives March 15, 2010 at 4:45 am #

    SHELLEY!
    You are amazing. There is so much of my story in your story.. it actually creeps me out a little bit. I honestly don’t know what I can say to tell you how much your journey has influenced me. I don’t even think I would be exaggerating to say that you have saved my life.

    I would never in a million years go back to that dark place. The fact that you are so close to being weigh-restored is AMAZING and I am so proud of you. You look so gorgeous in the last few pictures… so much better than in the first ones!

    ❀ LOVE YOU girl. Thanks for always being here πŸ™‚
    xox
    Tat

  35. homecookedem March 15, 2010 at 5:32 am #

    I’m so proud of you!! You’ve come so far and learned so much about yourself in the process. πŸ™‚

  36. Jessica @ How Sweet It Is March 15, 2010 at 5:53 am #

    You are looking wonderful girl, and what is so important is that you have recognized the changes you’ve made. Congrats to you. πŸ™‚

  37. Sara March 15, 2010 at 7:06 am #

    Shelley!!! I am so proud of you and how far you have come. Our stories are so similar, and I’m glad that you have recognized all of the positive changes after recovery. So worth it!!!

    ❀
    Sara

  38. theemptynutjar March 15, 2010 at 7:30 am #

    a lot of this post touched me

    with me its always been different…its more depression and stress leading to or contributing to the food stuff

    like the food is never my issue…but the worry and perfection and comparison around it became the issue

    i am so sick of it

    u used the words “confused, ashamed, sad”…yep…
    u know what amazes me? u have done it all in under a year….i have spent YEARS in a downfall…literally…sadness has become me

    but inspiring to see happy people like u in the world…makes it seem achievable after all.

  39. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine March 15, 2010 at 7:46 am #

    You are SO beautiful, thank you so much for sharing this! In the recent pictures you look so vibrant, happy and full of life. (Love your top in the last pic, by the way!) I’m so proud of you, and so happy that blogworld has been such a positive influence on you. I love reading posts like these, because they’re a constant reminder to stay healthy, and to never give in to the little ED voice. You’re amazing Shelley!

  40. Naomi (onefitfoodie) March 15, 2010 at 7:54 am #

    wow shelley, you have come SUCH a long way, and have ispired so many people with your healthy outlook and kicking gertrude where it hurts πŸ˜‰ You look beautiful, healthy, but most of all, happy and thats what matters. you remind people everyday to be healthy and be themselves πŸ™‚

    xo

  41. Shelleysveryproudmom March 15, 2010 at 8:14 am #

    WOW! Thats MY Shelley!!!
    I am sitting at the kitchen island with tears of joy (i like tears of joy!).
    I feel like the luckiest person alive!
    October 18th, 2009 was one of the best days of my life! It was the day I realized that I needed to step in, to save my daughters life! I knew that I couldn’t do it on my own but I also knew I had to do whatever I could to help you, want to help yourself! And what a success we both were and are! This is a life long battle that will always affect you in some way or another but you have the power to control it!
    Isn’t that a great feeling???
    I am so proud of your progress and I will be here to help you through the challenging times you have ahead of yourself!
    I LOVE YOU ROCHELLE SOPHIA LEEMAN!
    Love, Mom
    (AKA-Captain of the cheerleaders!)

  42. Di March 15, 2010 at 8:24 am #

    This is a great post. First of all, kudos to you for facing the pictures of you from before and realizing that you’re in a better place now. That’s gotta be tough, but I’m glad you can see it. Second, you look great! Keep up the good work. πŸ™‚

  43. Can You Stay for Dinner March 15, 2010 at 8:33 am #

    You truly just wrote one of the most candid and beautiful blog posts I’ve read. You should save it and compile all of your “essays” in a book. I really think you have so much wisdom and passion that you could write a book and publish it. I love how willing you are to share your story, no matter how hard that may be. It’s helping other girls, Shelley. I know that someone will be touched by this who is in a similar place. But this post is important for everyone- anyone who wants to make a change will feel empowered and not alone. Thanks! You are so so wonderful. And I know looks aren’t the most important thing in any way, but you are gorgeous!! Radiant and stunning, girl!!

  44. Meg March 15, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    You’re my hero. ❀

  45. Hedda March 15, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    Fantastisk! ( the Norwegian word for amazing! ). You are such an incredible, strong and good person.
    This post, and all your posts actually, never fail to give me some hope that I too can be healthy. That I too can reach a healthier weight and a healthier mind.
    You should feel so very proud of yourself, and to Shelleys mom : What a beautiful daughter you have.
    Not just related to her looks, but so reflected and strong.
    You impress me πŸ™‚

  46. lowandbhold March 15, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    It’s so awesome to see how far you’ve come girl. You are empowered and EMPOWERING! Love ya πŸ™‚

  47. MelissaNibbles March 15, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    Amazing post girl. This is something I needed to read today. Thank you!

  48. Nutritious Foodie March 15, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    Great post Shelley! I don’t think I had ever read the full story before and am glad you shared it in this post. You are one strong and mature gril for admitting there was a problem and working towards getting it resolved. You should be proud of yourself and all you have accomplished πŸ™‚

  49. Kylee (Little Hat) March 15, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    Wow. Your story is so similar to my own. This was a beautiful post. You are such a beautiful woman (: -Kylee

  50. Missy Maintains March 15, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing this with us. It takes a lot of courage to show the pictures and reflect back to those rough times. You’ve come so far and are really inspiring!

  51. one healthy apple March 15, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    When I first started reading your blog and ‘met’ you in the blog world, I was overwhelmed by your honesty and strength. I was amazed at your perseverance and friendship and even though you were in a less than awesome place in life, you were amazing enough to want to help others with your story. This makes you a beautiful person and I’m truly honored to have ‘met’ you!

    Thank you for sharing, your positivity, and your writing style.
    And yes- your outfit is bangin’ (howl howl)

    Shelley’s mom: you should be very proud! Your daughter is a wonderful human being.

  52. healthyappletite March 15, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    amazing post πŸ™‚ xx

  53. ilanalala March 15, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    Shelley! You’re so amazing. Having so many friends who have struggled, and struggling myself, I’m so relieved to read a story from someone who accepted the help they needed eventually and began to heal. I’m so amazed by your strength and your honesty.

    When I went away to school as a freshman, that’s when my depression really took over my life and really destroyed me for a long time. It’s so hard suddenly changing environments when you’re dealing with something internally and you lose your entire support structure. I’m so happy for you that you got help and it worked.

    Thank you for being you. ❀

  54. Morgan March 15, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    you have such an amazing story, and you look so beautiful now! Keep up the great work!

  55. Holly March 15, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    shelley…what a beautiful, uplifting and inspiring post. you have come so far, and i could not be happier for you that you have made such strides and have found such happiness!

  56. Kim March 15, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing this! At this stage in my recovery, I’m not at all triggered by numbers or pictures or anything; rather, I’m inspired by the transformation. You seem like you’re on a real path to wellness. You recognize there are still some things to work on, but being so close to the goal weight is a huge accomplishment. Yes, it’s not all about weight, but that’s a huge symptom of recovery, of course πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to continue following your journey πŸ™‚

  57. Erika March 15, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    Thank you, Shelley, for that wonderfully open and honest post. You’ve definitely come a long way since you first began this journey and I’m so happy for you to finally make it to a healthy place in your recovery (not just physically, but mentally too). You’re an inspiration to people like me who are also trying to conquer this awful disease and someday be able to say we’re “recovered.” Thank you πŸ™‚

  58. Dana March 15, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    You are amazing!
    You look absolutely beautiful, radiant, and happy!!
    Keep moving foward!

    xx

  59. Gina G March 15, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    i am soooo happy and proud of you Shelley, you are such an inspiration! beautiful inside and out =)

  60. Little Notes March 15, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    Amazing, girl you are just amazing. I really loved this post, its scary to look back at how you let yourself go but its now great to see your onto a path of health and happyness and hearing that things do get a little easier as time goes on is a great relief πŸ™‚
    You look beautiful now, your hard work is paying off, keep at it! πŸ™‚
    xox
    Laura

  61. Lauren March 15, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

    OMG Girl!!! This post was the most inspirational thing I have ever read. You are so amazing and I feel like I tell you this all the time, but you need to hear it every single day!!!! You are AMAZING! πŸ™‚

    Love you so much!

  62. coffeeandberries March 15, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    You are so inspiring! Thank you.

    And I agree with everyone above–that outfit is sooooo cute!

  63. Kelly March 15, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    Shelley…you are amazing and look amazing!!! Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. πŸ™‚

  64. Kate March 15, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    you are awesome and strong and brave and honest! and you look outstanding too! love it1

  65. Jessica Zara March 15, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

    Such a well-written, articulate, heartfelt post. I think everything you’ve included is constructive and should serve as an inspiration to embrace health for everyone at any stage of an ED, from the girl at the 22 BMI desperate to ‘tone up’ who might realise she’s fine as she is before the slippery slope starts to the desperately thin girls too frightened and bullied by their EDs to change, who can see the beautiful pictures of you now and read about the positive aspects of recovery from someone who is within striking distance of her goal, and looks darn fabulous with it.

    ❀

    ~Jess~

  66. malpaz March 15, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    this rung so true to me:

    When people would comment that I had lost too much weight, I would say β€œI know, and I definitely don’t want to lose more!”

    i use to do the same thing in college. very heartfelt post and my goodness girl you have strived, fought and have done an AMAZING job with your progress this is so damned inspirational!!!!!!

    instead o fmy parents visiting college, i developed the habit of going home on the weekeneds because it was safe and some part of me wanted to show them how i was struggling and was a walking pole. the worried, but everytime i came home i was even skinnier. scary to see pics of me back then

  67. Sara K March 15, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    Beautiful outfit on such a beautiful girl.
    Shelley, it’s wonderful that you never want to go back there again- I think the progress you’ve made is amazing and that’s part of the reason why I love reading your blog, because you’re actually taking recovery seriously and getting the life you deserve back πŸ™‚

  68. Judy March 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    When I read your story it is just like my own experience! I experienced the exactly same thing as you did! I did excessive exercise (I cut a lot right now but still constantly worry and think about it) AND I still count calorie (this really drives me crazy!) I am so surpurised that our experience are sooooo similar even the start bmi. I am also on my recovery right now and I think am conquering my fears little by little. Thanks for posting your blog here and it helped me soooo much!
    P.S. You look gorgeous right now!! You are soooo pretty and confident!
    Keep going! You are BRAVE! I will be BRAVE too!
    We can both conquer ED !

  69. Antonia March 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    This is a great entry and very inspiring. I’m happy for you that you were one of those lucky girls who were able to identify their eating disorder and changed it. I remember I use to stumble upon “ana-communities” back in the day (eg. on Xanga) where girls would support each other and their eating disorder and not in the good way.

  70. Ashlei March 15, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

    You look so much more gorgeous now! Congrats on the huge steps and progress you’ve made!!

    xoxox

  71. Emily March 15, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    thank you for sharing this with us, girl!
    you are amazing and should be extremely proud of how far you’ve come emotionally, physically, and mentally.

    xoxo

  72. Larissa March 15, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    congrats- you rock!

  73. beccaandspice March 15, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    this was so motivating baby. you know i’ve been struggling lately and this REALLY helped me. so thank you :] you should be so proud of how far you’ve come, and i think you are amazing. ❀

  74. simplypresent March 15, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    WAY to go! Keep it up! πŸ™‚

    peace.love.em

  75. nattietan March 15, 2010 at 11:47 pm #

    You really have come a long long way hun and you should be proud of what you have achieved! I think it is awesome what you have done – to look back and reflect on what you have been through, and acknowledging all your hard work.

    You are radiating with health and beauty now, and it’s come to the final push which is always tough but definitely not impossible. I think we’re pretty much at a similar place right now in terms of how close we are to weight recovery so let’s give it all we’ve got! We’re too important for ED! x)

    Love
    Nat
    xoxo

  76. justjac March 16, 2010 at 1:16 am #

    I’m so glad you posted this, Shelley. It takes a lot of courage to put your whole story out there like this but I think so many of us can relate. It’s so great to see how well you are doing and I think you’re truely inspirational to those who are struggling. Keep at it girl, you have only good things to come! :]
    http://www.justjac.wordpress.com

  77. Cassie March 16, 2010 at 4:56 am #

    So proud of you, girl. πŸ™‚

    And you are so, so gorgeous!!!

  78. leslie March 16, 2010 at 6:39 am #

    shelley, congratulations on a) all your progress, b) your incredible honesty, and c) your inspiring outlook. seriously, i relate so much to this post. it’s so wonderful to read someone’s thoughts who can use the words “weight restored” and “empowered” in the same sentence. i think the blog world needs more of that, and i have always admired your perception of what health really is. you look absolutely gorgeous, but more importantly, you are so beautiful on the inside!

    i also think your goals are great, and i think they’ll continue to get easier with time. as you’ve been showing, the more you’re out living your life, the more you’re faced with situations that challenge you. your determination is so strong, and i know you’re going to get where you want to!

  79. Karin March 16, 2010 at 7:06 am #

    Wow this is such an amazing post Shelley! You’ve come such a long way and I’m so proud of you!! You’re such a gorgeous girl and deserve happiness and health.

  80. Cassandra March 16, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    Beautiful, amazing, inspirational post!!!!!!!!!
    xoxoxo

  81. whydeprive March 16, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    This was a wonderful post. You are doing so well, and it takes real guts to be so honest.

    BTW – I like that outfit too!!

  82. Anna March 16, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

    OW OW!!! You are a total mama cita!

    Great work, Shelley. I am glad you also realize you still have areas to work on. I do too. Exercise will, I think, always be constant iffy thing for me. If it is at all possible, try yoga, exercising outside, and exercising with friends once you can start working out again. I did that the summer I was allowed to start exercising again, and it was great for me mentally. I have to admit, over the winter, exercising on the elliptical, and seeing the numbers just glaring at me, it was slightly triggering and caused some definite anxiety. But when you’re stretching it out, or biking and fast as you can with the wind in your face…that is what exercise is at its best, for me, personally.

    Love you, you are awesome!!

  83. Gabriela (froyolover) March 16, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

    Awwww, Shelley!
    Amazing post!
    YouΒ΄re awesome, girl. I canΒ΄t believe how far youΒ΄ve came! YouΒ΄re definetely on the right path, doing a terrific job on kicking GertrudeΒ΄s butt!
    I wish I could be more like you πŸ™‚
    Have an awesome week. You deserve it!
    πŸ˜€

  84. Anna March 16, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    I definitely know what you mean…with the exacerbation…seeing what is going on on other people’s blogs and stuff. It sort of makes me want to be careful in the blog world, maintain this careful distance. I don’t know. Thank you for your touching comment, I’m always here if you need to talk about Brandi!

    love ❀

  85. Sarah March 16, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

    Awesome post Shelley, dear! You are amazing, beautiful, and strong! Love.

  86. Melinda March 16, 2010 at 8:40 pm #

    Shelley, you are amazing and I am so proud of you girl!! And you look absolutely fabulous- I can’t wait to read more about your journey-you are so inspiring and a great role model to so many girls out there!!!

  87. Melissa S. March 16, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

    Beautiful post honey and I’m so glad to hear how far you’ve come in such a short amount of time! your dedication and truth are amazing and i wish you only the best of luck with the things you’re still working on! i know i’m still working on them too!

  88. Gena March 16, 2010 at 8:56 pm #

    Shelley, this post was incredible. Thank you for sharing your story — even the photos that were hard for you to share will help someone else. I’m very glad that you’re safe and working toward health. Congratulations. ❀

  89. Jin March 16, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    Shelley, I have just recently started reading your blog and I think it is incredibly courageous of you to share your journey to health with us.
    You look beautiful right now and I hope more happy things are to follow in your future!

  90. Hannah Leeman March 16, 2010 at 10:14 pm #

    Shell,
    I cried reading this… sorry, I mean BAWLED. You look so incredibly beautiful in this last picture. I hope you know how much you mean to me and like the bumper sticker i sent you (haha), I hope you’re in my life forever. Your strength, pride, and beauty inspire me.
    I love you.
    Hannah

  91. Katharina March 17, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    Girl, this post is amazing. You have come so far and it’s crazy to think how one-track minded things can become. It just sucks the life out of people. It really saddens my heart when I see, hear, and read about people suffering. And especially suffering from an ED because I can sympathize. IOP is such a great program because you’re also able to live in the real world and test out your new coping skills. I promise that you will be free and have less fear foods, find fun in exercise, and feel great about yourself. Remember that beauty comes from inside out. The most beautiful people are the ones that let their happiness shine through. And you also happen to have a gorgeous outside as well πŸ˜‰ So you’re a double whammy hehehe.

    XOXOXO to the moon and back, girlie!

    http://www.ohonemorething.wordpress.com

  92. janie March 17, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

    amazing!! what strikes me is not the weight you’ve gained but the change in your attitude and thought patterns. plus, if anything, it’s not that you look like you weigh more, it’s that you look like you’re glowing with life and happiness. i hope you truly find happiness and health on this journey, it sounds like you’re certainly on that path. i have to say, i’m quite envious of how “easily” (i know it hasn’t been easy, but i mean in terms of not needing ip or spending years suffering) you have succeeded in fighting the ed. jeez girl, you are strong. (though not perfect, i know you struggle and don’t mean to discount that!)

    i agree with the above comment that you are lucky to have documented your journey towards health… it is amazing to have that sort of process saved to look back on if you so wish.
    xoxox

  93. Jennifer March 17, 2010 at 11:09 pm #

    Shelley, this was such a beautiful post. You continue to inspire me with your strength, and through it all, your drive to fully recover. Your not only an inspiration for anyone suffering from E.D. but also anyone who has had some sort of hold on their life that doesn’t allow them to be themselves. It let’s them know that recovery and normalcy is possible. Thank you so much for this post, and I pray that you will continue to succeed in life.

  94. imaginenamaste March 18, 2010 at 12:10 am #

    You are absolutely amazing–I wish I could type more! Your post gave me chills. It is great to see how you are literally glowing at the end–in health and in pride!

  95. The Candid RD March 18, 2010 at 6:32 am #

    Such a fantastic post, as always. Thanks for sharing your story, it’s so similar to my own, actually. I was at my worst during my freshman year of college, I can’t imagine how scared my parents were to send me off!

    I still sometimes associate exercise with calories, which is a problem. But I will say that I think a majority of people do that, whether or not they have had an eating disorder in the past. DOes that make it right? No, but I won’t beat myself up over thinking about calories. I do try to think more about HEALTH in general, when it comes to exercise. I think that’s much better πŸ™‚

  96. highonhealthy March 18, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    That was a great post Shelley and I love that you have the courage to share it with the world. I see how determined and strong you are and it makes me want to try harder.

    When you mention how ED made you introverted I can definitely relate; it seems like it wants to destroy the person inside of you that wants to live, love and have fun.

  97. Vanilla March 20, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    Great post. I wish one day I will be able to make a post like that, and have the guts to share my story.

    You’re so beautiful and strong, inside and out, this is what truly counts and what is giving us hope.

    xoxo
    Vanilla

  98. Elizabeth March 20, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    WOW. that’s all I can think right now. Thank you so much, Shelley.

    As I read through your post, I was like “oh my gosh, she’s writing my story as it’s happening”. My BMI started out about the same, and now I’m down to the 19 like you, and I’m afraid that the restrictive behaviors that I’ve now gotten used to are propelling me forward in a dangerous direction. I feel like I’m having a hard time differentiating between ‘healthy’ and excessive, in terms of food rules and exercise, and having bloggers around who also struggle with these issues is really helping me figure out what a pivotal moment I’m at in terms of choosing healthy behaviors and thoughts.

    It’s such an inspiration to see women like you who are really finding success and support through this network, and showing everyone out here that you CAN find yourself again. I’m so proud of what you’ve been able to accomplish, and I’m so happy to have found you out here, and in turn to re-examine my own life.

  99. Michal March 21, 2010 at 8:26 pm #

    Shelley you are amazing! You are so strong and sweet and courageous for sharing your story with all of us πŸ™‚

  100. Katherine: What About Summer? March 22, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

    I am totally right there with you; I don’t have time to read all of this right now but am commenting just so I can remind myself to do it later! I am suffering from overexercising right now and bad body image. It is tough! You are not alone

  101. hundredtenpounds March 30, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    Thank you so much for posting your story. It’s a really important topic. I’m glad you beat the anorexia and are striving to be HEALTHY instead. Food can become an obsession. I lost 110 pounds and for a little while I got really obsessed with the scale and counting my calories…and if I went over the ridiculously low (1300) number I would workout extra hard. It’s a struggle.

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