Friday, December 31, 2010

5 great uses for clothes that never should have fit you in the first place.

If anyone else has some old clothes with lamppost-size-circumferences that you're looking to kick out of your life along with 2010, here are five constructive things you can do with them...

1. use them as rags for cleaning the bathroom sink

2. cut horizontal strips into pant legs and use them as fringe around the edges of boring pillows or blankets

3. donate them shelters or charities so that young, needy children {who are actually supposed to fit into those clothing sizes} can have something new to wear.

4. cut the pockets out of old pants and use them as slip covers for ipods

5. sew up the bottoms of long sleeved shirts, cut the neck hole so it's a little bit larger, tie the sleeves together to make a strap and you have a reusable shopping bag!


soak them {along with your ugg boots [whether they fit or not]} in gasoline and use them to make a beautiful bonfire to welcome in the new year.

i find its always nice to add a little humor into the somewhat painstaking process of throwing out my old, evil clothes, so i thought i'd share some of it with you :)

happy new year.

love to you,


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Dear Jesus,

if historians/pastors/christian culture actually spoke/wrote accurately, then this would be at least your 2022'nd birthday. i say this because every Christmas that i've existed, i've heard and reheard that you were born 2000 years ago. this has always bothered me, and so i'm just going to take this opportunity to tell you happy birthday- however many years its been since bethlehem- and move on.

I was thinking last night, Jesus, about the fact that you really must not have cared a whole bunch about making any kind of scene or show, or abiding by any sort of kingly rituals that would have highlighted the powerful role that you were born into. if you did care, it was only about showing the world how meaningless and minuscule its pomp and circumstance and royal traditions really are.

that's why, however many years ago, you spent your first night on this earth amidst surroundings that would have been lowly for anyone, much less heaven's king.

i thought about that last night, Jesus. i thought about it as i sat in a Christmas Eve service for which i'd tried on a couple of different pairs of shoes and put on eye shadow.

i thought about the fact that your birth is a perfectly plain example of the things that you think are important and the things that aren't. if you cared much for appearances or presentation, our nativity sets would look much different than they do, and my dad wouldn't have had to take his allergy medicine before coming to watch me sit atop a bail of hay as Mary in our church's live nativity.

i thought about the fact that you really wanted to show us that you were coming to defy most of what the world saw was worthy of any sort of praise. and that aside from that and the sheer fact that that night began your journey to the cross, the most important thing that we can take away from your birthday is the blind faith by which the shepherds left their flocks to come and worship you.

as these thoughts rounded my head, i began to think back across the past 22 Christmases {and years in general} and i searched my memory for the times i've celebrated your birthday the way in which you would want.

Jesus, i'm not sure why we fight so fiercely to maintain outward appearances when appearances are what you directly defied. i don't understand why we still seek to fit a mold when we look forward all year to celebrating the day you showed us that breaking molds was okay. i've got no idea why i looked in the tag of the new pajama pants i got today to make sure they were a size *, when the reason we give presents in the first place is in honor of the gifts the wise men placed at your feet to show you that they worshipped you above all else.

please convict me and everyone else who celebrates your birthday today of whatever idols we need to let go and place at your manger. please point out the ashes in our lives of we're still trying to make use of, and give us the strength to loosen our fingers and let them slip into yours. let us let you make them beautiful. let us place our outward appearances behind us, rather than before us, where they hinder our connection with others and with you.

Happy Birthday, Jesus. i love you. and in your 2022nd {or whatever the heck it is} year, let me live as a reflection of the day you came to earth; unworried about things working or appearing as they seemingly should, walking in blind faith to whatever places of worship you call me.

thank you for coming, Jesus. and thank you for bringing your freedom.

Merry Christmas.



Friday, December 24, 2010

the best is the worst.

{and visa//versa}

i had an eating disorder for a really long time. but before i had an eating disorder, i was a singer and a basketball player and a really, really happy person.

i sang at church and in choir and all that but i also did some competitive stuff. i placed ninth in the state for alto singers as a sophomore in high school. was it because of my talent? yes. was it because i worked tirelessly with unfailing intensity to make sure i had practically committed the songs to muscle memory by the time try outs came? even bigger yes. i made copy after copy of practice CDs. i attended weekly voice lessons and practiced before, during, and after school. by the time region and state competitions came, i knew my music so well i would literally have had to try to mess anything up.

i can't say that i possess any real raw talent for basketball. my brother got that. but i wanted to play and i could run fast and i didn't mind my thighs burning and so i played from third to 9th grade, winning the heart and/or defensive player award for somewhere over half the teams i played on or camps i attended. i can remember during defensive and running drills, ignoring {at times loving} the pain and discomfort. i knew it was going to make me better, and i knew that i wanted to feel like i had nothing left. and that was what got me through the pain.

i've always had passion, i've always had drive, and i've always had discipline.

the parts of my life i just shared with you are not of any sort of bragging or pompous nature. i shared them to show you what can come from the types of qualities that make a person really good at having an eating disordered when they are channeled for positive, constructive things.

if you think about it, someone who's incredibly thoughtful, considerate, and conscious of the people around them is also likely to be overly sensitive and easily hurt when they are not treated with the same consideration. it's the same with people who are understanding and forgiving of wrongdoers; although they avoid poisonous, bitter grudges and are generous with love and with chances, they are likely to forgive and forget so unceasingly that they reduce themselves to doormats.

in other words, our best and worst qualities may not be separate qualities at all. they are simply our strongest qualities manifested in positive and negative ways.

when i think back to basketball practice and doing those defense drills- sliding low with thighs parallel to the ground- i'm more than able to draw a connection between my thoughts then and my thoughts as i ran for hours around our church gym's track. i was already at ** pounds and all i could think was that just one more lap was that much closer to the next pound i'd lose.

and when i think about practicing all those songs- literally making them a part of me until i knew every time signature and how it sounded it what it felt like and when it changed- i can see why it was so easy for me to push myself to starvation and well beyond it.

i'm capable of looking pain and discomfort and difficulty in the face and taking them on with a predetermined assurance that i'm going to succeed. it's incredibly productive. it's incredibly dangerous.

i've realized though, that i think the same things about me that made me so good at having an eating disorder- my passion, my drive, my intensity- are the same things that make me so good at recovering from an eating disorder. this hasn't happened in a decent while, but for months on end all i could see when i looked at myself in the mirror was an overweight person. it hurt more than i can say to have to see myself like that and continue to gain weight and then to maintain it. but i can remember looking at myself and saying, "i see a fat person right now and i have to keep eating. my life actually kind of sucks. but i refuse to give any more of myself or my time to my disorder, so i'm going to keep going."

it was a lot harder than defense drills. it hurt a lot more and it took a lot longer. but i made a choice. i stripped my passion and my discipline away from my eating disorder and i plugged them into my decision to recover. like i said, it sucks, but it works. and it's worth it.

people are always wanting to know what's supposed to make them "feel" like recovering. how they're supposed to do it when they don't want to. the thing is, no one ever really feels like doing anything enough to become really good at it- people know that they want things and so they push through the exhaustion and the opposition and the burnout until they get them.

right now, i'm reading a book called Outliers, by Malcom Gladwell. Throughout the book, Gladwell traces the paths of all kinds of successful people, pointing out the common threads and trends between them that led them to success.

in one of the book's early chapters, Gladwell suggests that the magic number of hours someone has to spend practicing something to become a true master is 10,000. From master musicians to the Beatles to Bill Gates, Gladwell shows us that although raw talent is a crucial factor in the equation for success, no incredibly successful person would have gotten anywhere before putting 10,000 hours of practice and experience into his or her respective craft.

in other words, it takes hours, days, weeks, and months of dedication to make a person a master anorexic, and it takes just as much {if not more} time and effort to make a person free.

so whether you're a fellow struggler or not {if not, you know you're a struggler of something} the very worst things about you are likely the very best. whatever destruction you've inflicted on yourself or on others could be birthed from the very parts of you that make you capable of greatness.

it was those parts of me that made me sick. and it's those parts of me that make me able to say i'm free.



Tuesday, December 21, 2010

the city... one of my favorite places on earth.

i pride myself on the fact that this blog is not one of those i-woke-up-this-morning-and-did-this-this-and-this-and-i-assume-that-you-care-so-i'm-going-to-post-each-detail-along-with-pictures type of sites, but i suppose i'm going to break my own mold and be that obnoxious person this morning.

that being said, the one thread of tangible purpose in this post is to give a glimpse into this newfound life i've been living, rather than just referencing it.

my family has made a bit of a tradition out of spending three or four days before Christmas here in New York {shallow confession: i love it because it's the only few days out of the year where my clothes are typical of our surroundings and theirs are not.} and needless to say, the city has certainly looked different this time.

i couldn't tell you that frequenting restaurants three times daily hasn't been a little stressful without lying. but it's a stress that {with lots and lots and lots of practice} i've learned to handle, and all-in-all it's been the best family vacation ever.

{just ask my little brother who told me my entire countenance is different than it ever used to be}

all that to say, here are some photos of freedom to the tune of the city:
ginger and me in the subway

dad, brother and me being total tourists in grand central station

undoubtedly my favorite 20 minutes of the trip: a darling peruvian man showed me all around his booth

i hope you all live alive today.



Monday, December 13, 2010

cold weather...
& bounds

more wonderful


that is all.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Brooke Fraser -Flags

i've mentioned this indirectly {a least a zillion times}, but if anyone were to trace my eating disorder from beginning to end, they would find a road laden with one rejection after another.

i've been told, "no" in nearly every arena of life imaginable. each "no" as i received it, drove me deeper into the arms of my disorder where i found the ability to achieve my own validity, my own success. in my eating disorder, no one could tell me i wasn't good enough or that i didn't make the cut or that they were sorry but they just felt like there was a "better fit" for my life that didn't include having an eating disorder. it was all mine and i could carry it as far as i wanted and i never met anyone who was better at it than i was.

now that i've {finally} reached a place in which i live apart from my disorder, i've found that my life has reached a fullness i know not how to describe. i've also found that the fuel of this fullness is vulnerability {with people, with myself, with God, with everything} and with vulnerability also comes pain.

as i've begun to {fully and truly} live vulnerably i have {of course} found myself experiencing disappointment in various forms and pointing them out to my loved ones and my therapist and relishing in the "i told you so" moments of explaining to them that this is why i had an eating disorder- because these are the types things that always {and will always} happen to me. this is my life. no one picks me and nothing turns out right. this is why i felt the need to seek my own validation for so long.

as i've allowed myself to open again to others and to life and all these accompanying uncertainties, i've grown fearful of the familiar sting of rejection. i've grown fearful that i may continue to taste it and find my eyes pulling in a slow shift- looking behind me to my destructive, protective enemy seeking to separate from painful "no's", once again trading myself and my spirit and taking the safety of numbness in return.

but last evening, after a delightful greek gyro salad across a cozy booth from kelsey boone, i heard a song playing in her car that He wanted me to hear. a song that He is using to remind me that i am promised no earthly accolades or accomplishments {if such things really even exist at all}.

thanks to brooke fraser's flags i am reminded that God's heart is for the lowliest and least recognized. His treasures share no commonality with the world's. His standards of success and validation hold no meaning in society's eyes.

i am so quick to clench my fists around something concrete that i feel i can live for. something that makes me feel my days have meaning and my moments have purpose. i just want to feel like someone picked me, or that there's something i'm better at than anyone else. but in doing so, i forget that i am not long for this world. that i am here for but a moment and that that moment will only hold meaning when i let it go and offer it back to the One who allowed me the opportunity for it's investment in the first place—when i pour it into His overarching purpose and allow Him to make it a living branch of a tree that will flourish. apart from him {no matter who i impress or what i achieve} i am dead.

Jesus, my moment here on earth is all yours. forgive me for forgetting that my attempts at self-validation are in vain. you are all-sustaining —which is why you make no promises of worldly success or acceptance—the world is momentarily quenching, but you are a wellspring of life.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

overflowing toilets.

something that's really annoying about life is that toilets sometimes overflow.

something that's really really annoying about life is that toilets sometimes overflow in the middle of the night, soaking the carpet all way from the bathroom into the surrounding bedrooms. it's really nice to step into first thing in the morning.

so i called maintenance more times than i care to remember and thankfully, by the time i returned from class the carpet had been shampooed and there was a big green fan making loud noises and blowing bits of fabric about my floor, indicating that it will eventually make the carpet dry.

to say that i'm thankful that maintenance took care of the situation would be the understatement of the century. However, it would also be an understatement to say that my carpet is still just a little bit damp.

i'm not trying to be a complainer, but i can't say i'm incredibly fond of having to stand on my tiptoes to walk across my room and then dry my feet whenever i get where i'm going. and as of last night, the pile of wet towels and bathmats that the overflow had taken by storm were still festering in the bathroom corner where maintenance had left them earlier in the afternoon.

i came in late from the library, talking on the phone to my mother who had foolishly hyped herself up on coffee a couple of hours before and was unable to sleep. i intentionally left my boots on until i'd plopped onto my bed so my feet would stay safe and dry.

by the time i hung up with my mom, my eyelids were heavy and burning. i needed to venture across the marshlands and into the bathroom to get ready for bed, but putting my shoes on and half-squishing my way to the bathroom and then not feeling like i could go to bed until i carried the filthy, wet towels to the washer just wasn't something i was up for, and so i stayed in the safety of my island-bed and fell asleep in my clothes and my mascara.

i woke up to the early winter sun peeping through my window. i smiled because i love it when that happens. i felt surprisingly rested, considering i'd fallen asleep in my clothes. this was probably due to the 30 extra minutes of sleep i'd gotten because i'd failed to set an alarm.

usually i take my mornings as they come- sitting, listening to music, reading things on the internet, eating my breakfast, drinking my coffee, and not getting myself together for the day until i feel completely satisfied with my moments of waking stillness .

but being that i was short on time this morning, i woke and immeadiately began a mental list of things i needed to accomplish in the 45 minutes to follow. a jolt of hurried energy started to pull me from my bed until i remembered that the floor was wet, and that the bathroom was filled with soaked matts and towels, and that i was going to have to walk through all of it and take off my mascara from the night before and move the towels to the washer and suddenly it just didn't seem worth it. the prospect of sitting in my bed with my computer for the rest of the day grew increasingly attractive.

i started to imagine ways that i could avoid the wet carpet and the soaked towels and my bathroom floor that needed to be scrubbed and still make it to class in a half-hygenic manner. but i was a prisoner in my own bed, and the only way i was going to get anywhere i needed to go was to scrunch my nose and place my toes on the cold, wet floor and walk across it and move the mildewing towels that were blocking the shower and just accept that it was all really gross and unpleasant but that i had no choice other than to do it.

i knew that no matter how long i waited, the dirty tasks would always lie between me and the rest of my life and that as long as that was the truth, i may as well just get them over sooner rather than later.

my recovery was the same way. I knew that it was going to be excruciatingly unpleasant. (much more so than moving wet towels or walking on overflowed toilet water) but i also knew that the excruciation of gaining weight and eating a meal plan and buying new clothes and looking "healthy" was standing directly between me and my life and that it would always be standing there until i chose to bear the pain and walk through it.

the only thing that putting off something like recovery will ever change is how much of your life you're wasting. i've wasted a lot of time sitting, paralyzed by my unwillingness to step into the difficulty of relinquishing my eating disorder. but the time that i haven't wasted- the time on the other side of the pain- stepping out the door and letting the endless blue sky and the sun fill my field of vision instead of just a sliver through my bedroom window- that time has been more beautiful than i know how to say.

and if i were still sitting with dry feet and hands in safety of the middle of my bed, i might be clean and and i might not be grossed out, but the extent of what i would have experienced in my supposed place of safety would reach no farther than the dimensions of a double bed. in other words, i would be alone and empty.

recovery {from anything} will always be between you and your day {and the rest of your life} and recovery {from anything} will always be hard.

why not get it over with and start living?



Monday, December 6, 2010


one of the dearest people i know (kelseyboone) recently applied for an internship with the clothing line freepeople. she submitted the following creation as a part of her application and i was overjoyed to be able to help her out. i thought it might be fitting show you all, considering that i am not just modeling as a free person, but truly am the free person in Kelsey's freepeople submission below.

kelsey and i are aware of most of what goes on in one another's heads, (andweloveeachotherallthemoreforit) and at one point in our photo shoot i told her i felt the sudden urge to apologize for my regular-lookingness. had we done the shoot about 12 months ago, i would have been a very skinny and model-like subject for all of her photos, but because the shoot was a mere three days ago, i wasn't.

"EA-" she replied, "these clothes would have looked terrible on you if you were still that skinny".

my momentary lapse of judgement blew out her car window along with the sounds of our laughter and i could feel strength form in my voice.

"you know what? you're right. i'm not sorry," i said.

and i'm not.

love and freedom,