Hello?

Hello? Is anyone out there? My posts are becoming far and few between. Most of the time I have no interest in posting and then others, like today, I feel like nothing would make me happier than updating this blog.

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Shot from an hour ago. It’s a slow day at the office.

Although not much has changed since my last update I figured it couldn’t hurt to bring you up to speed. So let’s see:

  1. My boyfriend and I renewed our lease meaning that he gets to deal with me and our small apartment for another whole year. Lucky him!
  2. I have 4 weddings to attend this year. One in May, July, September, and October. My boyfriend is a groomsman in the September one and I am the MOH in the October one. This year is going to be busy….and expensive $$$$.
  3. I am going back to school. For now I am just taking one class per semester to complete my pre-requisites. This summer is organic chem. It’s a good thing that I met the girl I’m MOH for by failing out of Chem with her in college….
  4. I’m visiting my sister in a couple of weeks to attend her graduation for Nursing School–with a Master’s degree as a Nurse Practitioner. So proud of her!
  5. Still working the same job. I can’t say I’m thrilled with it but I’m trying to work as much as possible (overtime FTW) in order to save up money for school.
  6. The weather is improving IMMENSELY and with that comes my mood. I’m so happy that warmer weather has arrived, although there’s still plenty of room for even warmer days. I did get my first sunburn of the year yesterday though.
  7. Matt and I are doing REALLY well. Living together for the first year can be just as challenging as people say. It’s not so much the living together and figuring out expenses/chores/etc as much as it is being with the person ALL the time and witnessing the good and bad moments that can often be hidden when you don’t see each other all the time. It’s hard but it’s also absolutely amazing. So excited to spend more time with my guy.
  8. Recovery is going well. I had a few breakdowns–one of which was in public and around my coworkers so that was embarrassing but otherwise I am so proud of where I am and plan on continuing to work on myself every day.
  9. I can’t really think of many other things that are going on at the moment. I’m going to post some pictures from the past ~2 months and maybe they will spark some memories. Otherwise–Happy Friday and Happy Earth Day! As my boyfriend says–It’s a good thing we live here–makes celebrating Earth Day a whole lot easier. Silly boy.

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Day In The Life 2/19/16

I was super excited to write a day in the life post again–I mean I even set it as my morning alarm message so I wouldn’t forget. But then, after doing my very best at documenting my day, I realized that 1. I’m not very good at capturing the interesting parts and 2. My life really isn’t that interesting. With that being said, I do enjoy looking back on these and seeing what I was up to when I was X years old (25 in this case). So here we go–a Friday in the life of Laura Carr.

6:05am Snooze once. Wake up. Say good morning to the cats and stare pathetically at my brewing cup of coffee wishing some things in life happened faster.

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6:15-6:45am Sip coffee, read blogs, wake up.

6:45am Breakfast time. Oatmeal is on the menu. Either I wake up craving eggs or I wake up craving oatmeal. Today was an oatmeal day.

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7-7:30am Eat breakfast, catch up on the Skimm, have another cup of coffee since I’m not in a rush this morning. Normally I leave the house by 7:40 for work but I have a 9am doctor’s appointment so I get the luxury of enjoying my morning for just a bit longer.

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7:30-8:05am Get ready for the day. Contacts, outfit, makeup, hair, wake up the boyfriend.

8:05-8:30am Drive to my appointment. Expect traffic since it’s rush hour going into Providence but hit ZERO traffic. Arrive obnoxiously early and sit in my car listening to music and playing Peggle. No shame.

9-10:30am It’s doctor time. I’m at an allergy clinic getting patch tests for dermatological allergies. 73 patches are taped to my back and kept there for 48 hours. On Sunday I’ll remove them and on Monday I’ll go back for a reading. Basically that means no showering or yoga for the entire weekend; plus, and extremely itchy back. My boyfriend is a lucky man.

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10:30am Arrive back at my car. I have until 11 to get back to work so I eat a snack and try to navigate my way back to work without a GPS. It was a success!

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10:55am Arrive at work. I’m temporarily covering as office manager at our Providence location which is in an old Victorian Building from the 1800’s. I don’t hate it.

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11-11:30am Catch up on emails and what I missed this morning. Also talk to my co-workers about how we should have an early lunch. We do.

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11:30am Lunch time. Normally I buy lunch on Fridays (grocery day is Saturday so by Friday it’s slim pickings) but I’m going out tonight so a tuna sandwich it was. Plus carrots, hummus, and chocolate.

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12-12:30pm I end up splitting my lunch hour and taking this time to help two new clients get set up with our program. One woman told me that I was going to heaven and it was the sweetest moment of my day.

12:30-1pm My co-workers and I take our daily stroll to the hospital’s cafe and then go for a walk. We work on the campus of a psychiatric hospital and it has a full cafeteria and cafe, as well as a 1-mile walking path. I fail to take pictures of this but trust me–the campus is GORGEOUS!

1-2:00pm I drink my tea, eat a bag of chips, and work.

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2:15-3:15pm Supervision with my boss. He tells me that I’ve seemed off the past couple of weeks and that he’s worried about me. That brings me down but I know I’ve been more depressed lately but can’t quite pinpoint why. Reassure him that it isn’t work related and we end up talking about Scotland, New Orleans, and Spotify for the rest of our time. I’m glad I like my boss!

3:15-4:30pm I eat an unpictured granola bar and count the minutes until I’m free.

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4:30pm FREEDOM!! Head to one of my favorite Asian restaurants, Lemongrass, where I’m meeting ~12 co-workers for food and drinks. I try to organize these every couple of months because it really brings us together. Plus, working in the mental health field means everyone needs to let loose a little.

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Wine x 2, Wonton soup (with added love), a salmon avocado roll, and an unpictured nim chow that I snagged off a friend because I was still hungry.

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8pm Head home. Talk my boyfriend’s ear off about my day and evening. Eat two bowls of stale Krave cereal because it’s all I wanted. Convince my boyfriend to lay in bed and watch two hours of Nurse Jackie.

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10:30pm Lights out. Crazy Friday night.

The Laziest Blog Post There Ever Was

I’m sure there were lazier posts, but I just have a bunch of photos on my phone that need to go somewhere besides my gallery and my boyfriend’s face (as in “babe look at this picture isn’t it cool??”). So, blog post it is. Plus I’ve been feeling very “bloggy” lately, which as of this moment IS a word.

So first, let’s talk about the weather–because all small talk starts with this topic. What’s more romantic on Valentine’s day than a girlfriend bundled up in 18 different layers? Answer–nothing.

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Despite the frigid temperatures, my true New Englander came out when I ordered an iced coffee without hesitation.

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Valentine’s day was good though. I went to a yoga class, went grocery shopping and forced Matt to hold my hand down at least one aisle to make it romatic, gave the cats a bath, and went out to eat at our favorite dive bar in town. Two glasses of wine had me drunk. Since when am I such a light-weight??? Regardless, it was fun and I convinced Matt to take a bunch of pictures with me after. Win-win.

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I also really need to break out my DSLR as it’s been in hibernation for way longer than winter has been around. Plus, pictures of food do NOT look good when taken on a cell phone (and oatmeal pictures will NEVER look appetizing. Ever.)

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(Apparently I didn’t even bother cropping these photos so a screen shot it is! Again–lazy blog post).

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I have managed to up my home-yoga practice. If you are at all interested in building your core strength, arm balances, and inversions–download Ana Forrest’s Freedom From Struggle series from CodyApp. There are a bunch of 30ish minute classes that challenge you to your max!

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My next blog post will be much less lazy–I promise.

I hope everyone had a great Valentine’s day weekend–even if that meant spending time with yourself which is super important (self-love is still love!!)

When you realize your eating disorder is a choice

Last week I was driving home from work after having opened up to my boyfriend about things I had been holding inside for awhile. It wasn’t a pretty exchange, I wasn’t nice about it, and I definitely didn’t hold back. In a way, this was important for me to do, as I often don’t share my feelings and opinions without a nice sugar-coated layer. However, I was also aware that I had spoken 100% with my emotional voice–forgetting to leave a little room for the rational one.

So as I was driving home I became increasingly upset, both with myself, my boyfriend, and the situation as a whole. Negative thoughts began to swarm me and my instincts were to immediately think “what can I do to immediately feel better?” For one, restrict. Two -exercise until I couldn’t move. But then, there was a third option–I could choose to do neither of these things. I could choose to skip the gym and go straight home to talk to my boyfriend face-to-face without numbing myself in any way. It was a choice. My behaviors were suddenly an option that I had, not an obligation.

And you know what? It took a few days of being uncomfortable, of facing what I had said and what we were both feeling. But in the long run it benefited both of us and we are in a better place because of it.

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Let’s Talk Numbers

I have to hash something out. It does involve numbers so for those of you who are often triggered by numbers please do not read on. With that being said, I will be trying my best to keep them to a minimum.

This past week I went to Vegas. VEGAS!! I had an absolute blast, I ate what I wanted, I drank what I wanted, and I felt good. I even decided to be a dare devil and jump off the 108th floor of the Stratosphere. However, in order to do so they need to weigh you. I asked them not to tell me what the number was but they had to write it on my wrist to ensure my safety when up at the top. Later in the evening I saw it, forgetting it was there.

So what were my initial thoughts?

1. That number is literally ten pounds more than I thought it was. Ten. Pounds.

2. That number is almost 30 pounds more than my lowest weight. That number is only ten pounds less than my highest weight.

3. I can’t believe I weigh that much. I must have been lied to by my nutritionist, must have been eating too much, must have not been exercising enough, etc etc.

But then…I thought some more.

1. I’m objectively the healthiest I’ve ever been. I’m eating nutritious food, enough food, and delicious food. I am exercising because I want to move my body–not because I want to burn calories.

2. I’m living my life. I’m traveling. I’m living with my boyfriend. I have a good job. I have two cats. I have a wonderful family and great friends and I am happy.

Being healthy has allowed me to do some amazing things this past year. For one, it allowed me to travel to Vegas and jump 855 feet off a building.

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It’s allowed me to become strong and accomplish some of my yoga goals–poses that I never thought were possible in the past.

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And it’s allowed me to simply be me.

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So although I am still struggling with the idea of weighing as much as I do, I am able to counter those thoughts with more than “maybe I was wearing heavy clothes” or “it was later in the day than I usually get weighed” and instead accept the number and be proud of how I am living my life.

Life Lately

November. November was the last time I actually shared what was going on in my life. Technically that was more than nine months ago, and it’s really crazy how much life can change in that time.

Let’s make this a bullet point post, shall we?

-First Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, AND Valentine’s day with my boyfriend.

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-Celebrated one year with the boy. We had big plans but his body said otherwise–so instead we stayed in, I drank vino and he drank Pedialyte. #romance

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-I moved out of my parents house and into an apartment with my boyfriend.

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-I decided that I didn’t like being a case manager anymore and became the office manager for the same company (now I don’t want to be office manager any more..whoops! Still looking to stay with the company though!)

-I visited my sister in Virginia and after some girl time my parents joined.

-We adopted a kitten and named him Tucker.

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-I turned 25!

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-My yoga practice continued to teach me about myself and I learned how to incorporate what I learned on the mat to every day life.

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-My eating disorder is quiet. My weight is close to what the old me thought would be my “happy weight”. It looks like that’s not going to be case. I eat to my hunger and then some, at times. By doing so my weight continues to increase but I’m okay with that seeing as I am taking care of my body.

-We adopted a second kitten because Tucker was showing signs of play aggression (AKA attacking us always). New cat (Duncan) is still a secret in my social circle as we don’t know how friendly they will ultimately become. Wish us luck.

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It’s weird, because in the past year I feel as though I have grown up more than ever. My outlook on life has changed. I accept my thoughts, feelings, and emotions. I don’t force myself to do things I don’t want to, or be someone I’m not. I’m welcoming routine but also allowing myself to break it. My focus on life has changed from food and my body to a deeper, more abstract outlook. I like who I am. And I will like who I become.

How Yoga Made Me Gain Weight

Okay, so that is a purposefully misleading title. “How yoga helped me to get healthy” isn’t quite as attention grabbing as the prior so let’s just stick to that one, shall we?

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I began practicing regularly a little more than a year ago, taking one vinyasa class a week with a friend of mine who worked at a local studio. I began as a way to exercise without having it appear as though I was doing so. “Yoga” and “going to the gym” give quite different impressions, don’t they? Initially I loved how I felt after each practice. I felt tired and sweaty and accomplished. However, the entire practice I was anxiously waiting for the best challenging pose, thinking they burned the most calories than the”easier” poses which focused on breathing and flexibility. At the same time I was fixated on whatever I would be eating for dinner afterwards. Every tiny morsel of food, how the meal would look, taste, smell, and how I would eat it. I was anything but a mindful yogi.

As time went on I began to notice myself getting stuck in class, both in my head and with my physical progress. It was as if I hit a wall that seemed impossible to surpass. I could do the poses, and do them well, but not to my fullest expression and definitely not with the healthiest mindset.

I don’t remember a specific moment that I decided to focus more on feeling good and energized, although I do remember going to an arm balance workshop after eating more than usual and getting myself into an inversion that I never thought I would be capable of. When I came out of the pose I felt strong and confident–two things that I hadn’t felt in a long time. It was at this point that I began focusing on fueling my body for each class which, over time, meant fueling my body always. There’s a quote in a book titled “Meditations from the Mat” in which Rolph Gates speaks about how yoga poses never end. He states “The reality is that the posture never ends, it just shifts from one form to the next, one lesson to the next, one opportunity to the next. We remain life’s student whether we are inhaling or exhaling, in a relationship or out of one, saving the world or looking for a temp job. The posture never ends.”

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For me, this meant that any challenges I faced while standing in Warrior II never went away, and that the way I took care of my body was not isolated to yoga class itself but to all areas of my life. I began to focus on my breathing in class, and out. I began to focus on how each pose felt instead of how I thought I looked, which in turn allowed me to begin focusing on this in my daily life. I began choosing water, milk, and juice over diet soda because, despite there being more calories, the latter made my body feel better. I began eating bigger meals that filled me up and didn’t leave me longing for more. If I was tired I allowed myself to sit and relax instead of forcing myself to be active. I began to truly listen to my body, and treat it well.

As I began to fuel my body, give it rest, and allow it to tell me what it needed I also began to see my yoga practice improve. I was gaining muscle, flexibility, and courage. If I wanted to do a pose I became determined to do so. However, if I was unable to accomplish it due to whatever reason, I allowed myself to feel frustrated and then I simply took a deep breath and let it go.

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So how does this all tie in with the title?

For the past 8 years I have found myself stuck at not only a low weight but an unhealthy state of mind. I was controlling, rigid, and extremely hard on myself. Yet, after a year and a half of practicing yoga regularly I have come to realize that I have learned how to care for myself both physically and emotionally. I am now in a healthy weight range for the first time since I was 15 and I am kind to myself when I go against the rules that my eating disorder has set up for me. I can’t say that I am recovered, or that yoga was the sole reason for my big step towards recovery, but I can say that it contributed immensely to how I viewed myself, my body, and the world around me. Each pose may look like a normal pose to others, but to me it is more than that. It is proof that with proper care and nurturing, my body is capable of doing more than I ever dreamed possible.

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How Very Frustrating. How Very Freeing.

“You look healthy” she said to me, making sure I knew that she was just stating a fact. “Your arms look strong”.

This sounds like a compliment, but to me it was a slap in the face. “She’s not saying you look healthy, she’s saying you look bigger, fuller, LARGER. You have no control over yourself, your arms are huge and your stomach is puffy and there is nothing you can do about it”. This is what by mind told me.

But the difference, and let me be clear here by pointing out that this is a GOOD difference, is that my thoughts ended with “there’s nothing you can do about it”. How very strange it is to think that. How very strange it is to not be planning on ways to restrict, or over exercise, or mentally deprive myself of things I enjoy. How wonderfully freeing it is to know that I will, and I did, leave that office knowing that lunch was waiting for me to eat, and dinner would be had with a man I love and a man that I allow to love me in return. How wonderfully freeing that truly is.

Day in the Life….sort of.

I tried THREE times to photograph things throughout the day. The first time I didn’t even make it to breakfast.The second time I made it to lunch. And the third time (today) I made it up until dinner and then forgot. So you get all I have…my day up until about 6pm. It may not be the most thrilling of days but I love hearing what you guys do in a day, so I’m just going to assume this is of some interest so SOMEONE out there!:-)

6:10 Alarm goes off. Laura goes “no”. Snooze.

6:15 Alarm goes off again. I get up for one reason and one reason only- coffee. I sip coffee and catch up on blogs for about 45 minutes and then decide to make some breakfast.

I spy a familiar blog!

I spy a familiar blog!

7:00 Breakfast time. I have been on an oatmeal streak lately. I don’t necessarily think I crave oatmeal in the winter, I just think that I see more of it on blogs and in stores and then I find myself making it one day and it just sticks!

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Oatmeal cooked on the stove with soymilk, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Topped with Teddie’s Peanut Butter

 

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7:20 Another cup of coffee because I need to be a human being today.

7:50 Drive to work. Listen to David Gray and zone out the whole time.

8:30 Arrive at work and do paperwork until…

9:00 Morning meeting time. I came up with the idea to take Morning Meeting Minutes since we have a staff meeting every morning. I’ve gotten a ton of good feedback about it so I’m pretty proud! Although, when I’m gone no one does them for me…

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10:00 Snack timeeeee. Followed by phone calls, documentation of meetings and collateral work.

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11:00 Still hungry. Apple time. Type Type Munch Munch.

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12:00 Time for lunch! I have way too much fun with my sugar snap peas.

Turkey and Avocado, Sugar Snap Peas with Honey Mustard, unpictured bag of kettle cooked chips.

Turkey and Avocado, Sugar Snap Peas with Honey Mustard, unpictured bag of kettle cooked chips.

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12:30 Head out to get work done at Starbucks because I’m tired of being in my office. #ILoveMyJob

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2:00 Meet with a client at a local ClubHouse. I request a tour because I haven’t seen this one yet. It’s really nice and I talk to her for an hour and twenty minutes. It was a good meeting!

3:20 Speed to my next appointment at 3:30 because it’s 20 minutes away! Also, snacks.

This, and more vanilla almonds

This, and more vanilla almonds

3:37 Make it to my next appointment (at a Dunkin Donuts….two coffee shops in one day!). It’s a short meeting because my client is doing really well!

4:15 Head home

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4:30 Look at my desk and realize that it’s time to organize and clip some coupons. Organizing comes first.

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5:00 Watch tv and clip coupons. New Girl is my life.

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5:30 Get dinner because I’m hungry and can’t wait any longer. Leftover chicken, couscous, salad, and grapes went unpictured. (I told you I forgot to take pictures!)

6:00 Do my laundry, continue cleaning my room, begin typing this post. Share this picture with you because I was finally able to do a headstand without solely relying on a wall!

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7:00-bedtime I will be reading, watching tv, eating a snack, chatting with my boyfriend, and basically being lazy. My day is boring and now you get to share it with me. You win the blog lottery!
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What’s the most interesting thing you did today??

Survey Stealing

I tagged myself in Amanda’s “4 Things” survey because I’m lame and just really felt like doing a survey. The number of times I have wanted to write a post yet couldn’t think of anything to write is sort of embarrassing. How do people write posts every day??

This post is going to be word-heavy with lots of really random, unrelated pictures thrown in. My apologies.

Four names that people call me, other than my real name:

  1. Laur. I think this began mainly as laziness but my best friend and my nutritionist both call me this and I sort of like it.
  2. Lauren. Because people get confused.
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Four jobs I’ve had:

  1. Panera Bread cashier/barista trainer
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  2. UConn Cafe supervisor
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  3. Restaurant Server (I was SO bad at this job.)
  4. Mental Health Counselor/Case Manager (my current job)

Four movies I’ve watched more than once (AND can quote):

  1. I can’t even answer this one. I don’t think my brain has the ability to remember lines of movies. I can watch a movie with my full attention and interest, turn it off, and not be able to repeat any lines back.

Four books I’d recommend:

  1. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
  2. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
  3. The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
  4. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Four places I’ve lived:

  1. With my parents (Rhode Island)
  2. At School (Connecticut)
  3. Studying Abroad (London)
  4. That’s it. Although at school I lived in 4 different places so I guess that counts sort of?

Four places I’ve been:

  1. California (San Diego, Orange County, LA)
  2. London (Study Abroad)
  3. Multiple countries around Europe (Wales, Scotland, Spain, France, Belgium, Holland)
  4. Florida (Disney World woooo!)

Four places I’d rather be right now:

  1. On a beach. A warm beach.
  2. At Starbucks.
  3. In London.
  4. Snuggling with a pile of puppies.

Four things I don’t eat:

  1. Spicy Food…my stomach does NOT tolerate it.
  2. Raw onions…I have a weird sensitivity to it.
  3. Cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli. Again…stomach woes.
  4. Any exotic meat. I’ll stick to the basics but any organs or whatever are NOT okay with me.

Four of my favorite foods:

  1. Peanut Butter
  2. Corn Muffins
  3. Chocolate
  4. Sushi

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Four TV shows that I watch:

Since I don’t really watch TV, I’ll just list off some of the older shows I love…

  1. New Girl
  2. Parenthood
  3. How to Get Away with Murder
  4. Big Bang Theory

Four things I’m looking forward to this year:

<2 months left sooo….

  1. Thanksgiving! My favorite holiday, and I get to celebrate twice in one day today. One of the many benefits of having a boyfriend😉
  2. Christmas. Because…Christmas.
  3. Continuing my yoga practice.
  4. Hot chocolate, warm blankets, fires in the fire place, snuggling.IMG_20141109_101255IMG_20141102_193206IMG_20141102_094615IMG_20141101_123818

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Four things I’m always saying:

  1. “Can we just talk about how ______”
  2. “You’re the weirdest”
  3. “Right??”
  4. “Are you kidding me?” 


    And other random pictures in my photo dump…

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    And lastly, a quote I found from a long time ago. Happy Sunday, everybody. I hope your weeks are good to you!

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