To Eat, or Not To Eat

*Trigger Warning: Eating Disorders*

To eat, or not to eat- that literally used to always be the question for me. Was it worth it? Did I really need it? How hungry was I actually? How much is everyone else eating? These, along with countless others, are the questions that plagued me at literally every dreaded meal. Granted it wasn’t nearly as bad when I was alone, but if there was anyone around..forget it.

For years I had always just thought this was normal. I assumed everyone had these same thoughts. It wasn’t until much later that I realized that this was not the case, at all. However, I never would have pegged it as an eating disorder. I mean, I still ate something. And I never made myself vomit up anything I’d eaten. Just the thought of that made my skin crawl. So I was in the clear, right? Nope, wrong!

It wasn’t until I was well into my adult life that I realized that I might actually have a problem, but I still did nothing to change that. I mean, I honestly thought I was happy with my weight. It wasn’t until I (finally) got into a healthy relationship that I decided I needed to change. Having someone that would always cook for me was wonderful, but a little scary at first. The dreaded questions would pop back into my head; ‘is she going to judge me if I eat this whole plate’, ‘maybe I’ll just leave a little bit’, ‘am I eating it faster than she is’.

Every night I would sit at the kitchen table and talk to her while she prepared our meal. Our conversations would continue on while we ate, and well on into the night. Soon, I was too busy talking with her about everything under the sun that all of those awful questions never even had time to make their way into my head. (Her continuous flow of compliments definitely helped as well) After a while, I was no longer dreading each meal or trying my best not to eat the entire plateful. I could eat and actually enjoy my meals without feeling so self conscious.

For me, talking about my eating disorder was not an option. I even went to therapy regularly for other things, and never brought it up. Even after I realized I had a problem, I still remained silent. As we all know, that is never the answer. It is always better to talk about anything and everything, and I am a huge believer in therapy. However, that may not be the case for everyone. Personally, having someone that truly loved me for everything that I am turned my life completely around. I was eventually able to talk to her about my eating disorder, and that changed absolutely everything! Now, whenever those dreadful thoughts make their way into my head I can talk to her and she can help me shut it down. So now, when pondering the question ‘to eat or not to eat’— this girl is happily gonna eat!

Through Thin and Thiccc

Yes, you read that correctly. Through thin and thiccc. Throughout my life I’ve always had a problem with my weight, but not in the ‘typical’ way. See, I’ve always had trouble gaining weight. I was even bullied over it for years. I cannot even count the times when I was told to “just eat a cheeseburger” and asked “why do you want to be so skinny?!”. I certainly did not want to be that skinny, I just couldn’t help it. I was always very active growing up; between ballet, karate, and horseback riding I was very healthy! I was just tiny. Being almost 5’1”, I never really thought it was ever a problem.

I eventually ‘grew up’ and realized that it was okay to be small! I had even accepted myself and started to feel good about my size. A few years passed and I continued to work to keep weight on, but for the most part I felt great! It was when I finally decided to treat my depression with medication that everything changed.

I have struggled with depression and anxiety for a majority of my life, and I had thought I was ‘dealing’ with it well. I finally broke down and realized I was actually not dealing with it at all. In fact, it would get so bad sometimes that I couldn’t even function. So I decided to finally try some medicine. (As well as continuing therapy) Everything was great at first! I was feeling better, my mood was a lot more stable, and I was no longer lashing out. Also, what I thought was a plus side, I was finally gaining some weight! (Yay!) After about a month, I noticed that the weight was still adding up. I tried changing my diet, changing my workout, and even cutting out snacks— but nothing helped. In about a month and a half I had gained roughly 30 pounds!

This new weight gain came with a whole new slew of insecurities. I could no longer fit in any of my clothes, my body was looking a lot different, and even my face was changing! I was absolutely horrified. I started working out until I was physically sick and skipping meals, but nothing helped. I finally voiced my concerns to my girlfriend who was (per usual) incredibly supportive. She made me feel completely okay with the weight gain, but I still had my moments. I eventually decided to just get rid of all of my old clothes and buy a completely new wardrobe— in my new sizes! So no more trying something on that I think will fit, only to be disappointed and pouting in my closet floor.

I have finally, with the help of my lovely lady, accepted the new me! I feel like I look a lot healthier now, and I feel a lot happier. I still work out regularly as often as I can. I will share my workout routine and some goals in another post. The main lesson I learned from this drastic change was that all bodies are beautiful, even if it’s not what you’re used to!

Nurse Life, but Make it…Sane?

As we all know, the world is a pretty weird place right now. Especially for nurses. My daily work life is always interesting, but these past few months really take the cake.

So, the hot topic right now— masks. Yes, none of us particularly enjoy wearing them, but they are absolutely necessary. One of my biggest pet peeves at the moment is the never ending list of patients that complain to me about having to wear their mask for the short time I am in the room with them. I am not the one to complain to— I have been wearing mine every single day, all day long, for months. Another thing that really gets me fired up— when my patient will remove their mask to cough, sneeze, etc. That completely defeats the purpose, friend.

I completely understand— none of us are having a good time during all of this, but just be pleasant. Follow the rules and help us out, so we can keep helping you! Despite all of the current frustrations, I wouldn’t change a single thing about my choice to pursue nursing. Nurse Sarah, forever at your service!

Coming Out…Again (and again)

I’ve never had a problem with being who I am. I accepted myself at a very young age, and never looked back. My family and friends all accept me and are the very best. However, being a femme or ‘lipstick lesbian’, nobody ever suspects it. After many odd encounters with new friends or coworkers while just casually telling a story and adding in “…and my girlfriend and I…” only to invoke some pretty ridiculous reactions, I have learned to just let people know up front. So a majority of new encounter conversations start with “hi, I’m Sarah. I’m a lesbian.” Just so no one is thrown through a loop later. Is it ‘right’ to feel like I need to do that? No, not at all. But I can say that it definitely hurts my feelings a lot less to have someone immediately write me off as a potential friend than to have it happen later on when they find out.

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking, “It’s 2020, nobody cares about stuff like that now, right?!” Wrong. Especially living in a small town in Tennessee. As silly as it is, I have had so many ‘friendships’ end or change dramatically once it’s discovered that I am, in fact, a lesbian. It is especially odd when starting a new job or working with someone new and it gets brought up. For some reason most people initial reaction is to immediately mentally replay every interaction they have ever had with me to determine if I had been flirting with them or not. (The answer is no) Another downside is that I’m naturally a very outgoing person, which also is usually interpreted incorrectly.

So, while I have been out for a majority of my life, I still get to relive that experience on a regular basis. However, I have become accustomed to it by now. I have also found, over time, that it really does make things so much easier in the long run. No more awkward conversations, horrified looks, or very unfortunate comments made by acquaintances. It really is a win-win for everyone!

Life, thus far.

How about we start with an introduction? Hi, my name is Sarah. I’m a very dedicated dog mom who happens to be rapidly approaching the big 3-0; and currently struggling to learn how to accept that. I’ve worn many hats in my life (which we will elaborate on eventually), but my current is ‘nurse’. My last year of my twenties has been a wild ride, so I figured I might as well share it!

As I sit here on my one day off, scanning my room desperately trying to think of something interesting to write ‘about me’ I look over and see my dogs. All four are completely invested in what I’m doing. (or perhaps the soup I decided to eat for breakfast) They are definitely the most interesting thing about me, and I have been lucky enough to have them throughout all the stages of my life. There’s Mumble (named after the penguin from Happy Feet), and he has been with me the longest. Throughout all of the highs and lows of my life, this sweet boy has been right by my side. He has gotten me through so much. Then there’s my sweet D’kota, she’s definitely my ‘protector’, and she takes that job very seriously. She is always the first one at my side when I need some cheering up. The newest little in the family is Taz. This crazy boy has quickly grabbed a hold of our hearts, and luckily for us has no intention of letting go. He is our first pup that we have gotten together. Lastly is our oldest and teeniest boy, Koda. He was an only child, and was thrust into this crazy dog family when my girlfriend and I got together. He was quickly accepted by everyone, but per ‘tiny dog personality’, he could care less.

Since I’m talking so much about this ‘we’, I will touch on that as well. The other half of my ‘we’ is my girlfriend. (yes, girlfriend) We have been together for almost 5 years now. She has been by my side through thick and thin. (literally) We have been friends since middle school, and finally decided to take that a bit further. She is my best friend and biggest supporter. We are incredibly lucky to have her in our little family.

From buying a house, adopting yet another sweet pup, battling COVID on a daily basis, and just the everyday adventures that life throws at us- my plan is to include you throughout all of the ups and downs life plans to throw my way! So, this is my life- thus far!