Unwelcome guest

Yesterday was a whirlwind at work, as are all Saturday’s. It’s our turn (when we clean all of the rooms/cottages/other units to prepare them for the new guests) which means lots of work. I set up the two new people I was training at one condo, then went to the next to check it. I saw all the normal things.. beds made, empty fridge, no dust, well swept, etc. I then looked at the closet since I didn’t have an extra sheet set and found plenty there. Among the five extra towels, 3 random sheet sets, and probably a dozen games, I saw this on the floor:

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That, my friends, is a lovely scale. Not only does the scale exist, but it also is apparently a gift to the condo. My heart really sank just thinking about this situation.

To back up a bit, the place I work at (in housekeeping) has 9 weeks of family camp in the summer, and then various retreats throughout the year. The condos are almost always rented by people with kids. As a whole, the conference tries to promote togetherness and a getaway from the normal burdens of life.

Unfortunately, everyday living includes a heavy dose of diet culture influence for far too many people in this world.

I can imagine so many different situations where one could be hurt from this object. A little boy or girl decides that they should see how much they weigh, which turns into an innocent “who weighs the least/most” game. Someone going through a dieting fad checks their weight only to find that they’ve gained, and spend the rest of the week miserable and ashamed. A teenager finds themselves stepping on every single day to make sure they didn’t let too loose on their vacation.

There is no way having a scale there is going to help anyone. For one, dieting/weight isn’t something that’s a priority when you’ve come here just to build faith and enjoy your family. Diet culture is absolutely everywhere else and it’s good to have a break. It has potential to truly cause harm to those who already have vulnerability with their self-worth or weight in general. Even with the best intentions, weighing yourself on a different scale once doesn’t truly correlate to one that’s consistent (eg at your doctor’s office).

When I saw that scale I had a few major urges. The first was to weigh myself. Ed was convinced that I needed to see the number and there were no other options, despite how inaccurate it would be based on various factors. Directly after that came the desire to take the scale with me and keep it. It would have been so easy to just find a home for it in my car or secretly in my room. That would give me easy access at any time. I am not proud of those first two options, but that’s also just where I am right now. Third, and probably the best option, was to take the scale out and get rid of it (which is technically what we’re supposed to do with “extra” things in units, but that’s a whole different story). I ended up with none of the above, and I’m a little disappointed in myself for that now.

I could have been brave and fought against diet culture today by removing the scale. Honestly, though, I don’t think I could have just gotten rid of it. The reason I debated about bringing the scale out or not for so long is because I wanted to take it home. I can pretty much guarantee I would have brought it home, probably even weighed myself 15 times by now. I definitely was not strong enough to do the right thing, so I did the neutral one instead.

I’m not sure if I’ll be back to the condo next week, or at all this summer. I want to have the strength to put the best interest of our guests first and confiscate the scale. Not being able to now doesn’t mean I never will.

I know this probably doesn’t seem like some huge deal. To me, it is. This is just an example of how our obsession with diet culture and weight loss is so ingrained that we feel you don’t deserve a break on vacation. How ridiculous is that? If we can take a week of work off why don’t we take a week to fully engage and not focus on things that don’t matter? One small scale can truly have an impact on someone, and I think it has to be our job to think critically about them and the damage that often comes.

I made it! – a little update

As a rule, I genuinely dislike taking breaks from blogging. I love to write. I love how this allows me to get my thoughts out. I love that I can reach other people. I love being vulnerable and sharing bits of my story. Sometimes, though, all of  that needs to be put to the side. The past couple weeks have been one of those times (for good reason).

The last post I made was on May 7. That was the start of one of the craziest weeks of my life. It consisted of: finishing a 6 page research paper in around 24 hours, writing and rewriting our last big journal for clinicals, attending IOP, shadowing a lactation consultant, packing up and cleaning my entire dorm (all last-minute, of course!), still making it to support group, studying, and trying not to lose my mind. I took my exams the next Monday and Tuesday, aced my maternal newborn ATI, and finally left campus at 6 on Tuesday.

I thought I would have time and energy to blog right away, but it wasn’t the case. I have napped more days than not since being home. I hate it but know my body is probably trying to tell me something. My brain feels like absolute mush, which definitely doesn’t help. I have all the ideas in the world, but without energy or focus I end up sitting at a blank screen most of the time. That’s finally changing because of work. I’ve always been able to think about different ideas/posts when I’m otherwise preoccupied. Driving is a top offender for this. I’ll have some brilliant idea but it slowly fades out by the time I have access to a means of jotting it down. Luckily, I have found time to type a note on my phone or even write all over my arm to remember bits and pieces of what I want to say.

Although I’ve found some inspiration while working, being there so much since coming home has left me exhausted. It’s been all kinds of crazy and stressful – from difficult requests to long hours and staying late more nights than not (I was officially scheduled 3 hours last week and worked 5 days/20 some hours). I come home and immediately sink into the recliner/my hammock. Naps and staying home are a big part of my life currently.

In the short almost two weeks since school ended, I’ve learned more and more that recovery is going to be the true full time job this summer. My team has already been on me about increasing exchanges, a meal plan change (that I’m expected to give a try..), weight gain protocol, and generally making strides away from the ED. They also share the beautiful future I could have without Ed. It’s nice to be reminded of the end goal because I can know what I’m fighting for. I don’t often see what could be when I’m in a struggling place.

I am so, so ready to be back in this space. I have lots more to share soon, but I just wanted to give a quick update to start off!

TFHR 06/09/16

Thoughts

  • How did I get so lucky with my job? It is the best place I could imagine working. I get to be around great people and it already has nurtured my faith. God put me with these people for a reason last year.
  • Bad body image is sooo gross. I have dealt with it since technically forever, but specifically it grew worse the last few months. For the most part it didn’t affect me really at all. It has now and lead to ED thoughts so that’s fun. I haven’t let that turn into behaviors and I need to trust that a) this will pass and b) what I see in the mirror is not true.
  • The jokes and sarcasm and teasing at work is superb.

Feelings

  • At work: loved, playful, appreciated, supported, needed, wanted, cared for, connected, lighthearted, joyful.
  • Frustrated with various things/people/situations. It isn’t terrible, more so annoying.
  • Proud of myself. I’ve really done well this summer so far. I’m eating enough,enjoying work, taking time for myself, coping with thoughts and behaviors. It has gone much better than I expected and worried about.
  • Tired. My sleep schedule is off still so going to bed anywhere from 12-3am and getting up around 7 most days for a 9am shift, working a 5-7 hr shift, then coming home. Today specifically I tackled the dreaded 6am. I was scheduled 6-12 (everyone else 9-2) but I ended up staying until 1:30 because we had a lot more to service than yesterday. We all love Joni and Friends but it definitely is more work than usual. Perfectly fine because seeing the smiles on their faces is priceless and so so worth it 🙂
  • Happy. My mom and family have noticed, I’ve noticed, J has noticed, coworkers have noticed, even those who had no clue about the ED have noticed. I am smiling and laughing and I really truly mean it. You can tell a huge difference from when it was all a facade to hide my misery.

Happenings

  • Yesterday something amazing happened at work. My boss, J, came up and pulled me aside while we were servicing. Her and M, the assistant manager of housekeeping, had talked and they both want me to lead a crew this summer for turns. I beyond excited! For one, this really shows that all of the work I’ve put in is satisfactory. It also proves that I have earned their respect, and trustworthy, and can be an example to my coworkers. Although I try not to determine my success/failure by others’ approval, I feel like this is an acceptable case. Since coming back to work I was hoping and praying I would have this opportunity, but became discouraged when my brother thought all spots had been filled. I’m grateful and I know this will help me grow as a worker and in general too.
  • My cat Molly almost caught a chippy (chipmunk). This doesn’t seem like a significant event, but she is by far the dumbest animal ever and can barely catch flies. She had her harness and leash on and sat in front of our bird feeder. A chippy was ahead of her so she attempted to run and grab him but she got stopped by the lead and fell backwards. Cat hunter fail
  • Olive currently came and interrupted my late-night blogging by lying on my chest. I don’t mind one bit 🙂
  • Lots and lots of slurpee runs because I was deprived forever. And by slurpee I mean not the 7eleven ones since ours closed years ago. Speedway is my preferred but also Wesco because their popcorn is bomb. If you aren’t in the midwest (Speedway) or West Michigan (Wesco) you are seriously missing out.
  • So our resident ducks may have done the deed in our pool and it was both hilarious and terrifying all at once ahhhh!
  • Today I went 3/4 of the work day with unusually painful feet and blisters from my shoes. Then I realized they were on the wrong feet… #adulting

Ramblings

  • I don’t really talk much about what it’s like living where I do, but I’ve recently realized some things that make me glad I do live here.
    • We are in a very safe area. Besides one very sad abduction case, the worst crimes in my city are speeding tickets, petty robberies (rarely),  and teenagers knocking people’s mailboxes down.
    • The breeze from Lake Michigan is heavenly and unique. Holy cow living in GR for only a few weeks of hot weather was gross. There is no wind at all and it just stays muggy and gross all day. Although sometimes the wind can be pretty strong, its much, much nicer than anywhere more inland. Also, we get a temp drop of 5-10 degrees vs GR!
    • In my county and within ~half hr of driving we have: 3 state parks, at least 10 city parks, huge stretch of beautiful sand beaches, 2 smaller lakes (although Mona Lake is more of a cesspool), 2 Meijer’s (hallelujah), 11+ Wesco’s, tons of yummy restaurants, a few quality school systems, a mall, nice neighborhoods and communities, Michigan’s Adventure (same owners as Cedar Point), and overall just a great place to be. Sure, there are bad parts but I fully believe the good outweighs bad.
    • Maranatha!!!
    • Beautiful nature – lakes, woods, beach, wildlife (deer, turkeys, the occasional fox, small critters, birds, the unfortunate seagulls, lots and lots of fish).

And that’s a wrap!

Feel free to share any thoughts, feelings, happenings, or ramblings you have had lately 🙂

TFHR 5/30/16

Thoughts

  • Lots about work… I am so lucky to work in an awesome Christian environment. My boss is great. I can’t wait for Joni and Friends, finding the weirdest stuff in rooms, having fun with my coworkers, and work being a great part of my summer. Its the best working with my brother Alec, like having “fights” and picking on each other.
  • I have so many things planned for summer, Slightly too ambitious? Perhaps. At the same time, it feels doable and will definitely keep me recovery-minded and busy.
  • I need to go to the beach and parks and take all of the photos.
  • I really seriously hope I can go to Michigan’s adventure this summer. I want to attempt Shivering Timber’s again, ride my favorite coaster 8 zillion times (while NOT sustaining a concussion), burn from going on the logger ride, fly on the trapeze, and pay $4 for one pop.
  • My aunt and her thing are ridiculous. The end.
  • Can my arm stop hurting? Also, can I not get hurt again for the remainder of at least this summer? That’d be a miracle.
  • I love sharing my story. It may be scary but all I’ve gotten is more confidence, the drive to help others, and freedom from guilt and shame.

Feelings

  • Love. For and from my coworkers, Milo, work  in general, brain game apps.
  • Exhausted. 3-4+ days of housekeeping a week. ‘Nuff said.
  • Destressed-ish. I’m still a hot mess who freaks out on the daily, but at least i don’t have school and everything else take more time I don’t have.
  • Excited. I’m really looking forward to have my first healthy summer in so many years.
  • Thankful. There are countless things I am grateful for. I have my job, living in a beautiful place, my family and animals, summer free from school, and being mostly free from ED/MH stuff. I am blessed.

Happenings

  • If you hadn’t guessed it by now, I started back at work. This time if not going to be held back by my eating disorder. I will take care of myself. I will eat enough. I will do my best. I will enjoy doing God’s work and make camps and conferences possible.
  • Our ducks came back to the pool!
  • Milo is super friendly suddenly and I’m pretty sure its because he is a super brat and needed the new huge cage to do so. Speaking of that, we did get him a Ferret Nation that’s only 2.5x the size of his old one. Did I mention he’s spoiled?
  • Milo and I are bonding and considering how snippy and scared he was before, its truly a small miracle. He definitely doesn’t hate me anymore!
  • Doing my summer photo journal has been really cool so far.
  • My sweet psych prof wrote the sweetest message on my life project.

Ramblings

  • If only everyone staying in a hotel room had the decency to clean up after themselves. Yes, we do deep cleaning but that is what we need to focus on, not washing dishes and food guests have left. I think its ridiculous to trash somewhere you’re staying just because. Housekeepers everywhere would seriously appreciate just a simple tidying up when you leave a hotel or cottage.
  • You may be going into nursing if… finding and downloading a medical app is the highlight of your week. I love Figure 1!!! It has images, scans, and descriptions of different case studies. There are also many where you guess what the correct diagnosis is. Its so freaking cool. I spent almost two hours on it last night because its fascinating. I feel like I am already learning more from finding out what different diseases look like.
  • My mom has officially surpassed me this week when it comes to worrying about medical issues. In truth, I haven’t been that way for a long time. I know what may be wrong but I don’t insist on a doctor visit or anything. My mom has had a cold maybe a week and a half. She is constantly asking if it is normal to have achy legs, whether she has pneumonia, why she feels weak, etc. Its pretty funny since she always told me not to be a hypochondriac but I get it :p