on authenticity.

Hello there, my lovely readers. I know what you’re thinking: “It’s Friday! Where’s my Diet Coke 12-Pack? I have a super awesome Friday night ahead of me which I plan to devote entirely to wasting on the internet. Where are those links?”

I apologize, friends. But there aren’t any this week. Well, there are, but a conversation my husband and I had last night over coffee (pumpkin spice lattes to be exact!) prompted me to post something different today. Something honest.

Last night Dan and I were chatting about the future of our marriage and what’s next for us and all that good junk, and we talked about the possibility of doing ministry together. Like, grown up ministry. Sure, we minister to junior high kids every week. But let’s be honest — it’s a lot easier to look like you have your crap together when you minister to people at least a decade your junior whose biggest problems in life are passing their vocab tests and not getting grounded for pummeling their siblings. If we feel called to someday minister to adults, we obviously need to make sure we’re healthy enough spiritually and emotionally to tackle that kind of calling.

“Alright then, what’s wrong with me?” Dan asked.
“Huh?”
“What’s wrong with me? Diagnose me! Tell me what I have to work on so that I can get better!”

We chatted about him and his upbringing a bit and finally decided that he needs to work on his cynicism and his laziness. He’s a guy who, as he put it, “has never had to know what it is to work hard — success has always come easily.” This, naturally, is Miracle-Gro for a lazy disposition.

“Okay then,” I turned. “What about me? What do I need to work on?”
“Easy,” he said. “You don’t know how pretty you are. You’re confident, but not enough — not as much as you should be, considering how pretty you are.”
“Really?” I was laughing pretty hard at this one. “THAT’S my biggest issue?”
“Maybe not,” he conceded, “but it is an issue.”

He’s adorable, right? I’m not worthy.

At any rate, I continued to listen to him gush over my beauty while sipping my latte and nibbling at our (free!) pumpkin spice scone. With each compliment about my beauty, I shifted more and more uncomfortably in my seat, fidgeting with my tell-tale knee brace, until finally I couldn’t take it anymore.

“No,” I stopped him. “Listen, the truth is, I’ve gained weight. Like, a lot. I know, because they weighed me right before surgery. My lack of physical activity and the fact that I haven’t been avoiding carbs like the plague is really getting to me. More than I let on, actually.”
He quietly looked at me with concern in his eyes. “Wow. Really?”
“Yes. Yes really. And I feel like a complete fraud and failure with each self-love blog I write knowing that deep down at this very moment, I hardly believe what I’m writing. To be honest, I’m terrified of food at the moment. And I can’t write that.”
“Lindsay, you’re human.” His words were kind, but firm. “It’s your blog. Write what you are feeling. Honestly, people might be able to relate to that even more.”

I’m going to assume he’s right.

The truth is, this knee surgery clustertruck (PG-13!) has really been difficult for me to stomach. For the past two weeks, our dinners have been delivered to us by members of the church. This is a HUGE blessing — with my aggravating immobility, my physical therapy appointments, and the boatloads of money we’ve been shelling out throughout this entire process I have never felt more blessed by something as simple as dinner. But last night, my ED-wired brain turned against me.

You’re really going to eat that? Remember the number you saw on the scale two weeks ago before your surgery? Do you really want to add to that? You know you can’t work off the calories, so why are you even eating them you fat piece of crap? Even if you start working out when you’re fully healed, it will take you forever to work all of this off, if ever. You’re worthless.

Ugh.

I guess this is what it means when I hear someone say, “You’re always recovering from an eating disorder.” You win some (and in my case, a lot!) but you do lose some. If I am to be completely transparent with you (and I fully intend to be) at the moment, I feel like I’m losing, and considering the fact that I won’t be able to exercise like a normal person until 2012 I have a sneaking suspicion the losing isn’t over yet.

And so. I ask for grace. I ask for prayer. I ask for support and love and things of that nature from you, my readers. You all mean so much to me, so much so that I fear writing what I’m truly feeling because I don’t want to hurt you.

But right now, I hurt a little inside (and a LOT on the inside of my knee, LORD.) And I hope you can forgive me for being honest.

THUMBS UP FOR THE TRUTH, YAY!

 

Love,

Lindsay

demi lovato opens up on ellen.

I don’t know if it’s because Dan is a children’s pastor, or if it’s really and truly because we’re both perpetually 12 years old, but we watch a lot of Disney channel in our house.

Like, an insane amount. Dan knows the lineup and everything. (Phineas and Ferb and Wizards of Waverly Place slay me. If either of these two are on, consider me busy.)

I’m not going to lie. Some of the girls on these shows really have me second guessing myself. They’re all so spunky. So fun. So talented. So bloody gorgeous. And a bazillion times more successful as teenagers than I’ll ever be as an adult.

But I’m no idiot. Being that I’m 25 (almost 26, GASP, is this real life?) I had a front row seat to some infamous ex-Disney star breakdowns. (Hello, Bald Britney!) The pressures of showbiz are no joke, and I’d venture to say that a large number of children who go through their most delicately awkward years in front of a camera walk away with some serious issues, and understandably so. Some of them respond like Britney.

Some of them respond like Demi Lovato.

Check out the interview she did on Ellen about struggling through an eating disorder, self injury, bullying, and why she decided to enter treatment.

This encourages me to no end. I think my favorite part of the interview is when Ellen mentions that you have to be healthy to recognize “unhealth.” THAT, my friends, is what this blog is all about. A girl (me) learning how to be healthy in a society that profits off of my unhealthy self-hate.

I’m so thankful that Disney finally has a starlet they can actually, truthfully, literally call a role model. Demi Lovato is a woman girls can not only look up to, but actually relate to. Her recovery inspires me, and I hope it inspires you, too.

And, just as a little side dish, here’s the video for Demi’s single Skyscraper which was written about these issues. It’s beautiful. Enjoy.

things i love thursday! (september 15, 2011)

Hey people! How’s life? Hope you’re enjoying your week so far. Mine’s been… uh… boring. A whole lot of sitting on my butt watching a whole lot of bad daytime television. But even still, I’m alive, so there are always reasons to smile.

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • Morphine drip.
  • Sweet nurses.
  • Being able to pee on my own.
  • Random visits from friends. (By the way, if you’re thinking to yourself, “Should I go visit Lindsay?” the answer is ABSOLUTELY. Just come over. Seriously.)
  • Frozen butterbeer!
  • My left (not broken) knee.
  • Sweet phone calls, text messages, and voicemails.
  • Being able to sleep on my stomach.
  • Ellen Degeneres.
  • Seeing my mom after she’s lost 55 pounds and gotten her diabetes completely under control by diet and exercise alone. (!!!!!!!)
  • Letting my mom “baby” me.
  • Not waking up during surgery.
  • Vicodin.
  • Hamlet and Romeo.
  • “Doing really well” at physical therapy, even though it hurt like a b…
  • The yummy-feeling massager post physical therapy.
  • The Food Network.
  • Having dinner cooked for me.
  • Having dinner BROUGHT to me!
  • The selflessness of my friends.
  • Painting and making jewelry with Suzanne! (See photo.)
  • Phineas and Ferb.
  • My sweet husband.
  • You.

Alrighty, y’all! What do you love this week? Let me know!

things i love thursday! (september 1, 2011)

HOLY TIMEWARP, BATMAN! Is it SERIOUSLY September already? Okay, I know I’ve said this before, but I really think that 2011 is growing up too fast. I mean, sheesh, didn’t we just go through 2011’s mid-life crisis? And now I’m starting to set up End-of-Life care for all of 2011’s family members. Blink too fast, and life just passes you by.

At any rate, happy September, folks. Here’s why this week ruled:

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • Making music with a handful of my favorite people.
  • Strongbow on tap.
  • Free shots from sweet bartenders. (Seriously, Dan, why don’t we go there more often?)
  • CAKE VODKA. (Okay, I realize that’s three alcohol-related things in a row but COME ON. CAKE. VODKA.)
  • Reconnecting and reminiscing with George.
  • Killing a mysterious three-day long illness with Momo’s pizza and friends.
  • Randy’s 21st birthday party!
  • Spending a night on a back porch and NOT SWEATING.
  • Fresh highlights by my wonderful friend EJoy!
  • Working from home.
  • Evan and Suzanne’s “Happily Ever After” party.
  • KYLIN WANTING TO BE HELD BY DAN ADKLFJAFASLFDJ
  • Kylin SAYING MY NAME ASDFKLAJSFDSAKJFHA
  • Spontaneously ovulating several times due to the above two items.
  • Finding out that Mark and Ashley ALSO hate sweet potato fries! I’m not alone!
  • Dan and I taking a random nap… on our floor.
  • Lunch with new friends and old.
  • Seeing my best friend and her boyfriend! AT CHURCH!
  • Throwing a surprise lingerie shower for Chrissie!
  • Dinner with Chrissie, Chelsea, Trisha, Angie, and Tara (!!!!!!!!)
  • An encouraging lunch with ECase.
  • Disc golf with the A-squad.
  • Beer, sushi, and Best in Show with Dan and JBarf.
  • Lunch with Audry at Decent Pizza.
  • Getting a sweet free binder at church leadership training.
  • My crazy bible study small group. “EXODUS!”
  • Lunch at Ray’s on my buddy Zack, who happens to love Harry Potter now.
  • Random underlined words.
  • Finally, my sweet, loving, kind, sexy husband. Love you so much Dan!

What about you? Think about your life this week — what do you love? What makes you smile? Why is your life awesome? Comment and let me know!

things i love thursday! (august 25, 2011)

Life is beautiful. We love until we die.

Oh how true. This life is so very lovely, despite the twists and turns and breaks and burns. I have a lot to be thankful for this week, so let’s get to it!

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • Seeing off Felicite and Jessica. And by “smile” I mean “cry a thousand oceans.”
  • Coming home to Michael Hoffman and consequently home made bread!
  • Sugar-free hazelnut soy lattes.
  • “My name is Lindsay, I’m 25, and my favorite J-Hi moment ever is…”
  • SKITTLES!
  • Spending quality time with my j-hi students and leaders.
  • Fun Station laser tag! Even though it was a bazillion degrees.
  • Unexpected hang outs and alcohol consumption with old friends.
  • Apples to Apples. ALWAYS.
  • Spontaneous compliments.
  • Spending the morning with my love.
  • The Breakfast Club bible study.
  • Student Ministry open house.
  • The senior high leaders.
  • Twitter secrets.
  • Hanging out with Trisha, Chrissie, and Angie for wedding planning (even though I can’t tie a bow for beans and am therefore essentially useless, haha.)
  • Going out to dinner with my love.
  • Chips and salsa.
  • Friends’ birthdays! Yay Libby and Randy!
  • Finnegan’s Wake.
  • Blushing.
  • Sacrificing sleep for fun things.
  • Matt, Tyler, and Cherish!
  • Wine.
  • Salmon.
  • Jeopardy.
  • Talking about literature. (And humorously bashing Twilight.)
  • My husband. Seriously. He makes me laugh so much.
  • Wearing my favorite dress!
  • Hot Chelle Rae. (Not even close to ashamed.)
  • My lunch date with Lauren and wonderfully massive salads at Hopkins.
  • Everyone is back in town.
  • Music.
  • Art.
  • Love.
  • Life.

Phew, now it’s your turn! What do you love?

diet coke 12-pack: week of august 15, 2011

Happy Friday, loves! Hope you’ve had an incredible week. Mine’s been quite the rollercoaster, but I’m blessed as always. Hope you enjoy this week’s 12-pack!

THE LINKS!

Alright, kiddos. That’s all for now. Weekend hard. 🙂

tuesday tip — shift your focus.

We all have those days. I have them. You have them. I’m willing to bet that even the most beautiful and confident woman in the world (Kate Middleton, obvs) has them.

Days where no matter what we do with our hair, make up, fashion, whatever, our appearance is our enemy.

These days can take a myriad of forms. Sometimes they’re “fat” days. Or “bad-hair” days. Or “stay inside and avoid human interaction” days. No matter what you call them, they suck. If you’re anything like me, you tend to fixate on these problems, making your days excruciatingly difficult to get through.

The good news, though, is that these days don’t have to suck so badly. Despite the fact that your skinny jeans are sitting this week out, and that your anti-acne cleanser seems to have turned against you, and that the left side of your hair has been flat for no reason this week, you can make it through. I promise.

TODAY’S SELF-LOVE TIP: SHIFT YOUR FOCUS.

Photo Credit: Ashley Poole Photography

The best medicine for a “crap” day is to shift your focus to something your body can do, versus what your body looks like.  Here are some ways to kick the “crap” day blues:

  1. GO ON A WALK and focus on the fact that you have strong legs that can take you anywhere.
  2. PAINT A PICTURE (even if you wouldn’t call yourself an “artist”) and focus on your body’s innate ability to create.
  3. LISTEN TO YOUR FAVORITE BAND and focus on the fact that your body allows you to hear and appreciate music. Added bonus: dance, and be grateful for your body’s ability to move.
  4. CALL A FRIEND just to tell her you that you love her, and let her tell you she loves you back, and remember that this is true no matter how you feel about yourself on any given day. Added bonus: meet up with your friend and use your strong, beautiful arms to hug her.
  5. HOLD A TODDLER because seriously, how can that not make you appreciate how beautiful life is?

These are just a few of the many ways you can shift your focus onto something more positive, something more true, something more praiseworthy. I know that everyone’s different, though. (For instance, holding a toddler might make some of you reading this want to kill said toddler. That’s not productive, is it?)

So tell me — what works for you? On your “crap” days, what are some things you can do to shift your focus back to the truth? Comment and let me know!

diet coke 12-pack: week of august 1, 2011

Happy Friday, everyone! You know why Fridays are awesome? What’s that you say? Because they are the start of the weekend? No, sillies! Fridays are awesome because they come before Saturday, the only day a week I don’t need to wake up early, and so they’re the only day each week I, as an insomniac, can drink coffee worry-free!

Grab yourself a mug o’ joe and get comfy. Some incredible gems on the Internet await to be consumed by you. Enjoy!

THE LINKS!

That’s all, friends. Have a blessed weekend — see you in just three short days! xoxo

the rexia series: liarexia.

the ‘rexia’ series:

liarexia

I stumbled across the term “liarexia” while perusing (what else?) a celebrity gossip magazine. The term was used to describe the eating habits of celebrities photographed eating fatty foods. Cheeseburgers, fries, bagels, milkshakes, you know, the stuff normal people eat every freaking day. So, why is it such a big deal when celebrities do it?

Well, quite frankly, it’s because they’re usually stick thin, and if they were eating that way every meal of every day, they wouldn’t look like that. Ergo, the idea is that they’re “lying” about what they eat throughout the day.

Um, duh. They also all probably have personal trainers that work out with them at their homes 7 days a week. But that’s another blog post entirely.

“Liarexia” is something that I find to be a bit of a redundancy; people who struggle with eating disorders tend to lie a lot because, hello, their eating habits are not normal. Even ED sufferers know this. It’s really rare to find someone placing an order at Starbucks saying, “Please give me a small cup of black coffee. Yes, that’s it. No cream or sugar, please. I’m trying to keep my daily caloric intake under 300 because I’m irrationally fearful of weight gain. Thanks.”

No. That’s not normal, and when people do things like that, it raises red flags. Red flags, by the way, are the eternal enemy of all eating disorders. Red flags demand explanations, which can sometimes lead to something awful. Like therapy or (gasp!) recovery.

I’m a pretty terrible liar. I’ve always known that. But I didn’t know just how bad of a liar I was until a group of my sorority sisters showed me that I wasn’t fooling anyone concerning my eating disorder.

Here I am in early 2006, about a year before being diagnosed. Where are my arms? I don’t know. But I can tell you that I was probably really hungry when this picture was taken.

Back in 2006, a group of my sorority sisters and I got together for some sort of event. I don’t remember the specifics of the event, but I do remember that we all went to Village Inn afterward.

(See? This is the real tragedy of the eating disordered individual. Food runs their life. So much so, that they can’t even focus on the great, happy, fun times they experience. Living turns into merely existing in a world where the only thing that matters to them is food, whether or not they’re going to eat it, where they’re going to eat it, how much of it they’re going to eat, etc.)

So. We went to Village Inn. When the waitress came around and asked for our drink orders, I went with water. This isn’t suspicious, I thought, because I’m a poor college kid and water is free. But while the waitress was gone, my mind was racing a million miles a second trying to come up with a logical explanation for why I wasn’t going to order any food. Normally I’d go with my staple, “Oh, I already ate dinner, I’m still full.” However, since I’d been spending time with my sisters all afternoon, I knew that wasn’t going to fly.

When the waitress came back to our table, in a last ditch effort to come up with an out, I told her to come to me last. As each girl ordered their food, my time dwindled away, and I was still without a reasonable excuse. So I panicked. When the waitress got to me, I just closed the menu and said, “Oh, I’m not eating, but thanks.”

LIE.

For a split second, I thought it worked. But then, the silence surrounding me was shattered by my sisters erupting in a burst of exasperated protestation.

What? Why aren’t you eating?”
“Lindsay, this is getting ridiculous.”
“You are skinny enough, stop doing this!”

And an assortment of other exclamations about my strange eating habits and surprisingly evident obsession with my weight.

My face burst aflame with embarrassment and horror. They knew. All of them knew. I didn’t know what to say, so I said the first thing that came to my mind:

“But I’ve already eaten too much today.”

LIE.
A big, fat, stinking lie. A lie so obvious, it might as well have been tap dancing on the table. A lie so big, it could only be conjured up in an effort to cover up another palpable fallacy.

They didn’t fall for it.

I can’t tell you how revolted that conversation left me. I felt attacked, exposed, raw, and hopeless. But those feelings were only (relatively) temporary, as they were the product of a conversation that would be the catalyst to me eventually seeking help for my disorder.

So thank you, sisters. Thanks for not buying my crap. Thanks for being brave enough to call me out on a lie.

And here is my message to anyone who currently knows they’re being lied to about something like this: I know it’s scary, but please. Speak up. Yes, it will hurt. Yes, it will be uncomfortable. But you may save someone’s life.