Sunday, December 22, 2013

13 facts. 0 lies.

When I was younger, I was home alone and found my little dog being strangled by his own leash. I cut the leash off but he still wasn't breathing, so being the aspiring nurse that I am, I did the only thing I could think of. CPR. Yeah...I gave my dog mouth-to-mouth. Before you start making fun of me and telling me how disgusting that is, you must know I did save his life! But sometimes, when he pees in my room, like he did two nights ago, I wish I would have let him die. 
In high school, I absolutely despised being 5'10''. I desperately wanted to be shorter (probably because I was taller than all the guys at the time). But now? I desperately wish I was taller. Like 6 foot. Or even 6'1''.

I'm overly concerned about what others think about me. In fact, I'm really nervous to post this because it's not my typical inspirational post and I'm worried what you'll all think. But I'm challenging myself and I'm going to post it anyway.

Unlike most girls, I refuse to think about my future wedding until I absolutely have to (and from the looks of things, I don't think I'll be doing it any time soon). However, as backwards as it may seem, I have managed to pick out all the names of my future children. I wish I could share them with you but they're pretty cool and you'll probably steal them.

I used find myself constantly criticizing how people looked and it got really annoying. So now when I catch myself judging someones appearance, I make myself think of two or three things that I actually like about them or their looks instead. Not that I'm criticism free, but it’s been really helpful so far.

Contrary to popular belief, my favorite type of music is not rap.
(but're black..)
I know, sorry to disappoint.  
My favorite music genres are actually country, and reggae. And Christmas of course.

Speaking of Christmas, I used to be very easy to please. When I was 5-years old, this was my entire Christmas list:
1. A real life stop sign.
2. An air freshener.
*Santa really shouldn’t have, but he spoiled me that year and got me both.

My little sister, Raygan, was born when I was 8-years old. For some unknown reason I insisted on being in the room while she was delivered. My mom failed to tell me that when brown babies are born, they usually don't get their pigment right away. So when my little sister came out and didn't appear to be brown, I yelled--in a very concerning tone-- "Mother! She's white!"
The doctor almost dropped her because he was laughing so hard.

Growing up, I hated BYU and had no desire to attend college there. My high school friends and I would even drive around the BYU campus during our lunch break and throw things at their students. (super mature, I know). But after being convinced to try out for the BYU cheer team and making the cut, I decided to give BYU a shot, and it was the best decision I have ever made. Being a part of BYU and the cheer team has rekindled my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and essentially got me active in my church.

I consider myself to be pretty dang book smart, but when it comes to street smarts...let's just say I was in the back of that line in Heaven and they ran out before I could get any.

I struggle knowing my lefts and rights. NO matter how much I practice, I always mess it up when I'm giving someone directions. 

My biggest fear is being in a natural disaster. Also, I'm deathly afraid of lightning and thunder storms. Whenever a storm is passing through, I make sure that I'm not wearing any metal because metal conducts electricity. So this means that all my jewelry comes off as well as my pants (because jeans have metal buttons!) I won't even eat with metal silver wear until the storm is over. 

Im convinced that I would be happier if I could just go live in a jungle somewhere. No clothes. No money. No technology. Just nature.     

Thursday, December 19, 2013


I just spent the last 2 years of my life trying to convince a man that I was good enough.

Pretty enough.

Motherly enough.

Smart enough.

Funny enough.

Domestic enough.

Skinny enough.

Spiritual enough.

and worthy of unconditional love.

It's now been 2 and a half months since that man decided he no longer wanted to be apart of my life. For a good portion of those months, I believed it all happened because maybe I wasn't actually good enough. Or perhaps I just fell short of convincing him that I was.

That's where I had it all wrong.

It wasn't he who needed to be convinced, it was me.

How am I just now figuring this out??

I wish I was writing this to tell you that I have finally been able to convince myself of my own worth, and how you can too, but after years of it being overlooked, it's going to take some time to come back into view. It's coming though. I can feel it.

For now, I'm just going to revel in the fact that I at least realized the mistake I was making, and plead with the rest of you to avoid making it a mistake of your own (or if you're already making this mistake, maybe this will help you to recognize it so that you can get back onto the path of self-acceptance and self-love that I am starting on).

No matter how much time, effort, energy or money, you put into love, and no matter how many sacrifices and changes you make for someone, it will never be good enough so long as you don't KNOW you're good enough.

I know this because even if there was a time in my relationship that this man thought I was good enough, I refused to believe it. In fact, I was incapable of believing it.

Your worth doe not hinge on anyone but yourself. You should be able to exist without ever hearing someone say "You're amazing!", and still believe those words in your own head. You have to believe it! But as long as you don't, there will be a void in your life that no relationship (no matter how amazing) can fill. Until you can fill that void on your own (and with God's help of course), it will slowly taint every relationship you possess.

I'm not claiming that this was the sole explanation for my recent breakup, because there was a lot more going on than that, but I do know it played a role. Had I loved myself before seeking love from him, would things have worked out? I couldn't say. Probably not. However, I do believe that it would have left me in a much better spot when the relationship came to an end. Not that getting dumped should be a tea party, but I just think that some of the worthlessness and hopelessness that I let myself feel was unnecessary. I mean yeah, It's painful to get your heart broken, and yeah, you're probably going to cry...a lot (especially if you're anything like me). But as soon as you know, without a doubt, deep within yourself, that you're worth an awful lot, you will find that you have every reason to be happy and to carry on even in the entanglement of a breakup. exactly do we go about this whole realizing you're worth thing?, I do not know. But as soon as I figure it out, you can bet that I'll blog about it :)




Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I'm a hater.

I'm gonna rant.

So I guess the Victoria Secret Fashion Show is tonight?

that's cool..

From what I hear, people are pretty pumped about it. Many have been waiting all year, and I'm pretty sure a few of my friends even had countdown chains. Having observed all the excitement, I realize this post is going to volunteer me as the official "Party Pooper" of the VS fashion show, but I'll take that title with a smile on my face because I honestly can't think of a better party to poop on (too far??).

In a perfect world, I would be able to convince every one of you to watch anything besides the VS fashion show tonight. ANYTHING. Seriously. Even a show I despise like "Duck Dynasty" or "Finding Bigfoot" (incredibly stupid shows, but incredibly noteworthy when compared to nearly-naked girls pacing back and forth on a stage). But since this world is not perfect, I would never achieve such a goal. So instead, I just want to serve as buffer for some of the poison that's going to be put in your minds if you chose to watch those lovely Angels tonight.

I think its important to look at the motive of the show and our motive as viewers. Victoria Secret says the show is just a way for them to promote their holiday sales.

Really?... Well I've never seen even a quarter of the stuff your models are wearing in your actual stores.

Oh, you're selling the black undies that shes wearing under her elaborate costume. Got it. Okay cool. I didn't even see those but I might need to go buy myself a pair of them now.

So....then what is the motive?? I really wish I had an answer for you.

Okay so what about us? Why do we watch it? I'm not aiming this question at men because A) I'm thinking and hoping you don't watch it and B) if you do, we already know exactly why and frankly, its sad to me. But women, why do you want to watch it? I know it's not because you're looking to buy any of that stuff for your mom, or your friend, or even yourself. So why? I really don't get it. It would make sense if you got some meaningful message from it. Or if it was semi hilarious. Or even just good entertainment! But as much as you try and convince yourself that that's what it is, it's not.

Did you know that around 70% of women experience depression just minutes after looking through a fashion magazine. Not clinical depression or anything, but a majority of women have reported that they experience shame, self-loathing, bad body image and feelings of sadness just minutes after looking through a magazine and all the airbrushed "perfect" women that are inside. Guess what? That same exact outcome follows the airing of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, so I don't get why anyone would support it.

I've heard a lot of women say that watching it gives them inspiration to get fit and healthy, but I have to laugh at that. Watching it does not inspire you to get healthy. It simply shames you into a few weeks or maybe a month of desperate dieting measures just to try and look like the women you're seeing on the runway. Do you know what those models go through just to get ready for the show? It's nothing healthy and it's nothing you can maintain long term. Adriana Lima (one of the more well-known VS angels), recently opened up about what she does months before the show just to prepare. Starting in August, she begins to work out twice a day everyday, while also being on a very restrictive diet. Then about two weeks before the show she gets put on a liquid diet, no solids. And then about 1 day before the show she consumes absolutely nothing. Not even water, because dehydration--though deadly--allows the models to look even thinner.

I'm not trying to pass judgment on the models, or diagnose them with eating disorders because that's not the purpose of this message. All I'm trying to do is remind the women who may watch tonight, that you aren't supposed to look like the women you are seeing on your screens! They don't even look like that after the show because they were using unrealistic means to get there in the first place. And actually, I'm going to go ahead and extend this message to every woman out there because I know that the media is bombarding us daily with unrealistic expectations of what we should look like. So women, when the body shame thoughts or the obsessive diet thoughts start to creep in (and they will), Please do not submit! Wanting to be healthy is great. In fact, I promote it. But models do not exist to promote healthy, they exist to promote skinny (emaciation even), which is not the same thing. So please separate the two.

The last message I have is for the guys.
I don't know if any of you are as into the show as girls are, so this message might be completely irrelevant to most of you. But if you do like to watch it (or if you are obsessed with models), I just want to urge you, just as I did the women, to remember that you're looking at unrealistic and overly sexualized women. Maybe you just enjoy it, but don't look at these woman and set that same standard for your future or current wife. And whatever you do, don't compare them to other women. It can be so dangerous. If your not careful, it will negatively affect how you see the women in your life, and eventually those women you care about will suffer the affects of it. Maybe just stop looking...

Okay. My rant is over. I obviously hate the VS fashion show (or the whole modeling industry for that matter). I hope I wasn't too harsh. I just care about all of you.

But enjoy the show :)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

see more.

We need more compliments in the world.

"Tay what are you talking about??? I compliment people on the daily!"

Okay, fine, let me rephrase.

We need more meaningful compliments in the world.

Yes, we are all experts at giving out these type of compliments:

I LOVE your Jacket.
Oh my gosh, your body is rockin'.
K, Cutest shoes ever!
Your hair is beautiful.
You're soooo pretty.

It's not that those are bad things to say, but I think we could tone it down on the superficial compliments just a tad and put a little more effort into compliments that actually mean something.

Let's dissect this a little.

Why do we give out so many appearance based compliments? From my experience, I think we do it for three reasons:
1) We really do like what we're seeing.
2) We like to make the people we care about feel good about themselves.
3) Superficial compliments are so dang easy to give out.

Here's the problem though-

We live in a time where self-objectification has become a national epidemic.
Self-objectification occurs when people begin to see themselves and treat themselves more as an object rather than a human being. Not only are they this way with themselves, but they also begin to see others as objects too. It's like we're all just figurines on display and our sole purpose is to be looked at and enjoyed. I really like how the book "Self-Objectification in Women" puts it:

"Women [and even men] have come to view themselves through the lens of an external observer, habitually monitoring their own appearance whether in public or private settings."

The book also goes on to talk about the consequences of this and among them are:

*Body shame
*Appearance anxiety
*Disordered eating

So if you haven't figured it out yet, self-objectification is nothing good, and sadly, our nation has fallen victim to it.

Learning all of this is what has caused me to feel indifferent about appearance focused compliments. Again, it's not they're awful and I'm not saying you shouldn't ever give them out, I just think they instill this subconscious message that we are what we look like, and that's just not true. Appearance is the least important aspect of a human being, so lets stop putting so much emphasis on it and maybe we can start to see ourselves as more.

If you think about it, we were conditioned for self-objectification at a very young age. Little girls are constantly being told how pretty they look, how cute their outfit is, how beautiful their eyes are etc. It's true though! little girls are adorable and its hard not to shower them with such compliments, but maybe we can condition them to be more than an object. More than a figurine. Maybe we should outweigh the appearance compliments with more important things. I realize this can be hard to do, but it just takes some awareness and a little practice. Here are a few examples:

You are so creative!
I love your beautiful voice.
You have a talent for making people laugh.
Thank you for being so obedient.
When your happy, it makes me happy :)
It's so fun to watch you play with your brothers and sisters.

I'd like to tell you about an experience I recently had. I was out to dinner with my friend and we were siting next to a family who had a little girl (around 5-years-old) and a little boy (around 3-years-old). Now I know I'm going against what I've been preaching when I say this but this little girl and her little brother were ADORABLE. Honestly. I couldn't stop staring at them. But anyway, at one point they both wandered near our table. I love little kids with a passion so I naturally struck up a conversation with them. I was asking them a range of questions and they were giving out the most comical answers, as most little kids do. Before they walked away, I wanted so badly to tell this little girl how amazing her blue eyes were, but just before the words slipped out, I remembered my feelings on the whole compliment thing. Instead, I paused for a minute to think about something else I loved about her that was separate from her looks. It was then that I noticed she had been holding her little brothers had through out our entire conversation and I realized that how she was treating her little brother was far more remarkable than her eyes. I decided to direct my compliment accordingly. I hope she can grow up knowing people notice more about than her beautiful looks.

I want to share one one more personal story.

So I've found myself being really depressed these past few weeks and I'm constantly feeling like I'm not good enough. Luckily, for me, I have the most supportive cheer team, family, and friends who constantly remind me that I AM GOOD ENOUGH. But everyone has a different technique when doing this. There are those who know I struggle with an eating disorder so they tell me how beautiful I am, and how great I look etc. I know they are being genuine and I definitely appreciate that they care enough to say anything at all, but I can tell you that when life gets hard, I don't remember those things. When Satan is trying to tempt me to act out on eating disorder behavior, remembering that so-and-so told me I have an amazing body doesn't give me strength or motivation to be strong. No. I find strength to overcome my trials when someone sends me a text and tells me they are grateful to have me in their life. I find strength when my coach tells me that I am valued on my team and he can tell that the girls really look up to me. I find strength when a woman at church writes me a note and tells me that she always looks forward to my sunday school lessons. I find strength when someone notices my hard work. I find strength when a friend informs me that my vulnerability has inspired them. Those are the compliments that keep me going. Those are the compliments that remind me I am more than a figurine.

Am I saying we we need to do away with compliments? No! not at all. Let's just start giving out DIFFERENT compliments. Try to see past a person's appearance and look for other things that are beautiful about them. Notice how they treat others. Notice their humor. Notice their attitude. Notice what sets them apart. Can you still tell them they look beautiful? of course, but maybe try to make it less frequent. It's hard to do at first but I've been practicing it for a while and it has changed my life. I've found that I am less judgmental of others and I truly have begun to see what real beauty looks like, and I'll let you in on a secret.. it has nothing to do with what our eyes are showing us.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Reflections are like mood rings.

In one of my first therapy sessions, my therapist told me my eating disorder had nothing to do with my body. In my head I was thinking "this lady is an idiot." I didn't actually say that out loud of course, but I did tell her she was wrong. I told her my eating disorder was definitely about my body and nothing more. I also told her that if I could get to a certain weight I would be happy and I would be able to give up my unhealthy behaviors.

She, being a therapist, challenged that statement, as she does EVERY statement that I make. Today, I'm so glad she did because even though I never really agreed with her in our sessions, I can honestly say I believe her now. (Jenn, if you're reading this, here is my official statement: YOU WERE RIGHT)

Let me explain to you how I finally came to this conclusion.

Today I looked at my body in the mirror probably a dozen times. Maybe even a bakers dozen (that's 13 times if you didn't already know). The first few times I was in a great mood and I was able to live with what I saw. I wasn't like "dang girl you fine" by any means but I was content with my reflection and I was able to relax and go about my day. However, in the afternoon I got into an argument with someone and the conversation left me feeling so many types of negative. I'll just give you a list of the statements that were ricocheting inside of my head: 
I am inadequate. 
I am a failure. 
I am unlovable. 
Something is wrong with me.
I'll never get it right.
I'll never be good enough. 

As you can tell by my melodramatic thoughts, I was in a pretty bad spot emotionally. Had I known earlier what I know right now, maybe I wouldn't have gone and stood in front of a full-body mirror in such an emotional state. Because guess what I realized?

My reflection is like a mood ring
*Not as cool as a mood ring though because I don't actually change different colors right before anyones eyes, but how I see my body can definitely change just as quickly.

When I saw my reflection after thinking all of those negative things about myself, it was as if I gained 20 pounds in a matter of hours! That's not even humanly possible.. Right?? But it honestly seemed that way and I suddenly couldn't stand the sight of myself even though I was nearly fine with it earlier that day. Now I've gone the rest of my day hating my body. Even to this very second. 

If I could, I would go and break ALL of the mirrors in the entire world and take on the millions of years of bad luck that would come with it just to spare anyone from doing what I find myself doing everyday. Standing in front of that mirror and taking out all of my negative emotions on what I can physically see, because hey, thats a lot easier that trying to figure out what's really going on right? Yeah, maybe. But it's proven to be very counterproductive in my life. Yet I still find myself doing it.

So what can I do?
First of all I'm making it a goal to stop looking in the mirror so much. Once in the morning when I'm getting ready should be good enough. No more of this 13-times-a-day crap. But also, I need to remind myself (and all of you) that when we are having negative emotions or thoughts, it's so easy to just blame everthing on our looks! I'm sorry, but as much as we would like to believe it, our looks are'nt causing us problems! (unless you surround yourself with really shallow human beings, and in that case, that would be the problem you need to fix.)


*and no, I didn't go do a photo shoot for this blog post okay? Haha this is a picture from like 3 years ago and I just thought it was fitting :) 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

3 things.

When I logged onto my blog, there were spider webs ALL OVER the screen. There are only two explanations for this:

1. Blogger did a halloween themed desktop


2. Its been way to long since I last updated my blog

...I'm thinking it's the latter one.

I just wanted to formally appologize to those of you who were following my blog. I shouldn't stand you up like that. My excuse was that I haven't been as successful with recovery as I have wanted to be, but then I realized that this blog was intended to document my JOURNEY, and a journey doesn't just entail the ups and the smooth sailing, but it also includes the bumps and storms.

I'm sure no one is following this anymore, but I've decided to start writing again for the simple fact that it feels good to get my feelings out, whether or not anyone is listening....okay I take that last part back. I really do hope some of you are still listening, because as much as I do this for myself, I also have a deep compasion for each of you and I pray and pray and PRAY that the things I write about on here can penetrate your hearts. I also hope that this blog can give all of you a refreshing break from the things that you normally see and read about on social media...

Things like:

*How to get flat abs.
*Wrap your body in this saran wrap and lose 30 pounds in one hour! (give me a break)
*Political Party bashing (usually coming from people who know very little about politics).
hm...what else..
*oh yeah, SELFIES. As much as I love those, I wouldn't mind if I never saw another one again. 

Okay sorry, that may have been a little harsh. I obviously have beef with social media and I'm sure I'll talk more about that in a later post.

Okay, enough of all that. Now onto the main course (pun intended)

I've been finished with treatment for over 2 months now and I definitely didnt expect things to be this difficult. I had this preconceived idea that once I left The Center for Change, I would be completely "cured" and my life would go back to normal. But I've had a few harsh realities hit me recently and maybe they would be beneficial for some of you to hear (eating disorder or not, I think its applicable to life in general).

1. Someone (or the Center for Change in my case), can give you a box full of really amazing tools that are capable of helping you fix something in your life or can help you reach a certain potential, but if you dont pick up the freaking tool and learn to use will do nothing for you! The hammer isnt going to put the nail in the wall on its own and the wrench isnt going to tighten the bolt by its self. You have to do the work, and sometimes it harder than you want it to be. Sometimes you arent sure which tool to use and you have to think about it for a while. Or sometimes the screw you are trying to take out is stripped and you have to imporivse. I seriously left The Center thinking that all the things I learned were just going to apply themselves naturally. Boy was I wrong. And the longer that my new tool box sat on the shelf, untouched, the further I slipped. There was even a time where I honestly considered going back into treatment. But then I had to wake myself and say "TAY, you don't need anymore tools! You practically have a shed full of them! Just use them!

2. The most important person in my support group is God. But for some reason He's the last person I go to in a hard moment. But I can say that the few times I have gone to Him, I am given strength beyond my own understanding. But every time I try to get through my day and my urges on my own, I fail. 
So knowing what I know, why do I keep trying to do it on my own??? Thats a question for all of you guys. Why do we try to go through the hard things on our own when we know we have our Father in Heaven who is ready and willing to take our burdens and make them light? Pride maybe? Or do I just forget to reach out when I'm already over the edge? I honestly dont know. Feel Free to respond.

3. This last one is probalby the most painful realization I have been taught in the past few months. A guy I was dating actually brought it to my attention. It stung when he said it, but it opened my eyes and I'll always thank him for that.
He told me that as long as I have my eating disorder, that will be the priority in my life. Meaning that he, my family, God, and my friends will always come second.
Man was that hard to hear. I remember losing it in my car after that conversation. A tsunami of tears covered my face as I thought about the truthfulness of what he said. For the past 4 and a half years, God, my family, and my friends have all come second to my eating disorder. The people that would move mountains for me have taken the back seat to something that brings me nothing but shame, regret and misery. How messed up is that? ugh. makes me sick.

So anyway, theres a few things for you to think about. I hope they can shed some light on any trials/addictions/struggles that you might be facing.



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Dear Body,

Learning to love and accept my body has got to be one of the harder aspects of my recovery. I've been able to conclude this because its something that I struggle with to this very second. But even though I'm admitting that this is a current struggle, I still believe I am capable of offering a little help to others.

One of the earlier assignments that I was asked to do while in treatment was to write a letter of gratitude to my body. At first I thought it would be impossible to write a letter such as this, especially given that I wasn't at all happy with the way I looked. How could I be grateful for something that I was so displeased with? I really didn't think I could to be honest, so my plan was to completely B.S. the letter just so I could check it off of my list.

Prior to starting the letter, I had an experience that sparked a change in how I felt about my body.

It was a Saturday morning and I got checked out of treatment for the day to go the tulip festival with my boyfriends family.
side note: If you have never been to the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point, put it on your to do list for next spring. I'm serious. From the name, you might imagine it to be something bland, but I'm telling you, it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced. GO!!! 
The festival itself was a serene experience, but the tranquility I was able to find within myself that day was the highlight. As we walked through all of the different gardens, my boyfriends little niece asked me if I would hold her. Though it was hot and I found myself to be exhausted, I loved that she asked this of me so I didn't hesitate to pick her up. It was in that moment that I was grateful for healthy arms and it was then that I realized that I am capable of having gratitude for my body despite the fact that I don't absolutely love the way it looks. 

That night when I got back to treatment, not only was I able to write an honest letter of gratitude for my body, but I was elated to do it. And I would like to share that letter with all of you with crossed fingers that you guys might be able to find things about your bodies to celebrate. 

Dear Body of mine, 

             Initially I was only going to write this letter because it was a required assignment, but as i began thinking about what I should write, I realized that I truly do have so much gratitude for you. I may not be able to say that I love the way you look yet, but what you can do and have done for me is much more meaningful than your shape.

             Thank you for my eyes. They have allowed me to see God's amazing creations. Had it not been for my eyes, I wouldn't have been able to enjoy the beauty of the many places I have traveled. And as I sit in treatment unable to visit the beautiful mountains that surround me, I am thankful to be able to sit by the window and soak in their wonder through my eyes alone. 

             Thank you for my voice and my mouth through which it is amplified. Because of this, I have been able to inspire others, connect with them, bring them comfort, ask them for help, and make them laugh all through my words. And when I am unable to find the right words, my mouth can simply give a smile or even a kiss. 

             Thank you for my arms. Today, Autumn asked me to hold her, and although i tend to despise these arms and wish they looked different, they allowed me to pick her up and hold her close to me. In that moment, I couldn't help but feel grateful for them. I can't wait until I get to cradle and embrace my own children someday. And when thinking about my future children, I am inclined to express gratitude for my stomach that i am constantly criticizing. Without it, I won't have a place for my babies to grow. And while they are developing, I know they will be thankful for the layer of protective fat that I am always trying to get rid of. 

             Thank you for my legs. This is by far my most hated body part, yet as I reflect back on my proudest moments, I can see that none of them would have been possible without these legs. With these legs I have been able to express myself through dance. With these legs I have earned a state title in the long jump. With these legs I have excelled in power tumbling and have had the privilege of entertaining thousands of fans. With these legs I have been able to enjoy running, long boarding, mountain biking, skiing, and hiking. And with these legs I will be able to dance with my husband at our wedding. 

             The last thing I want to thank you for are my hands. Not only do they make all of my everyday tasks possible, but they have also allowed me to write this letter to you that I will be able to look back on as I journey through recovery. 

Love always, 


The idea of writing a letter to your body probably sounds a little strange (and lets be honest, it really is strange), so I'm not challenging any of you to actually do it. However, I am challenging all of you to take even the smallest break from the incessant judgments we impose on our bodies and take a moment to be grateful for it and all that it does for you. And to take it a step further, I would suggest that you take a few minutes to write these down in your journal. (..oh you don't really keep a journal? well maybe I will have to dedicate a whole post to how helpful its been for me to keep a journal!) 


Monday, July 8, 2013

Who is Taylor?

Upon entering treatment I could have sworn that all I needed to fix was my relationship with food. While this was very true, that problem did not stand alone. Along with needing to fix a formerly abusive relationship with food, I also needed to heal relationships with my friends/family, my Heavenly Father, and the most wounded relationship of all--my relationship with MYSELF. 

For now I just want to touch on how I'm working to restore my relationship with myself. I haven't gotten it all figured out yet, but a few days ago I made a discovery that will play a key role in my journey to recovery and finding myself again. 

In a therapy session I was asked what I wanted for myself. I had to pause for a minute to think about this because there are about a million things I could have glued to the end of that question. But then a few words sort of illuminated in my mind and I instinctively grabbed hold of them. CONFIDENCE and SELF-WORTH. Those are the two words that escaped my mouth. 

I was sort of taken back by my own response and if you know me at all then you're probably just as surprised.

I think most people would consider me to be a pretty confident person. And on the outside I can see where that assumption would come from. I've excelled in dancing and tumbling, I'm a cheerleader at a D1 college, I'm fairly athletic, I have a large circle of friends, and I'm never deprived of compliments on my body and/or appearance. (Despite the impression you're probably getting right now, I can assure you that I'm not saying any of this in a boastful way. If you can bear with me for just a sec, I'll actually show you how I've let all of this work against me).

Sure, all of those things I just mentioned are things I should find joy in. And joy I did find. But I made a terrible mistake when I let all of those things define who I was. I rooted all of my confidence and worth into these fleeting aspects of life. That's not to say that I shouldn't have been proud of these things or that they shouldn't have boosted my confidence or been apart of who I was, but when that's all I see myself as or when I honestly let myself believe that that is all others see when they look at me, thats where the problem gets created. What happens when those things are gone? Who am I when I'm no longer that cheerleader? Who am I when my body changes--because inevitably it will--? Who am I when my body no longer allows me to do all those cool flips? Who am I without the cute clothes? I'll tell you who I'll be. (Well first off, I'd be naked without the clothes, but thats not my point). I'll be a nobody. I'll be a nobody if I continue to find my confidence and worth on such a surfaced level. Those things are a part of me but they are not WHO I AM. 

So now I'm left with a question. Who am I ? And better yet, who do I want to be? 

I'll tell what I know as of now. I am Taylor. A girl who loves to make people laugh, a girl who would spare anyone from the pain shes experienced if she could, a girl who will find optimism in a considerably bad situation, a girl who has an undaunted desire to help others, a girl who finds herself so perplexed by the problems of the world that she can't watch the news, and a girl who is complex. Complex is the key because it says that there is so much more to her that she, or those around her have yet to discover. But those things will remain undiscovered if she continues to think that all she has to offer the world are her visible or outside qualities.

And now, who do I want to be? Well I want to be refreshingly honest. Fearlessly loyal. And constantly humble. (Things I lacked as I got deeper into my eating disorder). But I also want to be a good mother, a loving wife, and a sincere disciple of Christ. 

All of these characteristics that I have and want, have nothing to do with my physicality or the things that I have, so why have I let those become my identity?? It's so frustrating. But the awareness I now have is what's going to change all of this. And I'm hoping that I've raised some awareness for all of you as well. 

What shallow things have become your identity? Where do you get your confidence and your worth? Ask yourself these questions. And then dig deeper and start to discover who it is that you really are and who is it that you want to be. That's where you will find true and lasting confidence and worth.

The coolest part about asking ourselves who we are is that its a question that will span out across the rest of our lives, so it's not like we need to feel pressured to figure it all out today. But it is something we should start thinking about.

**I don't claim to be an artist, but we do a lot of art therapy in treatment so sometimes I get to pretend to be one :)

This is a flower I painted. The petals represent the things about me that could get taken away from me, or "plucked off" if you will. And the center represents the core of who I am, or things that I would still have even if I was plucked of all the other things. This project taught me that when combined, all of these things can make a truly beautiful creation. 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Help is Hard.

"I believe that what God has placed inside of me is superior to the mountains that stand in my way" --unknown

The above quote has got to be one of my favorites. However, for a while I think I only had a partial understanding of its meaning. I simply believed that God put ALL the strength I would need to overcome my trials inside of me from the beginning. But maybe that isn't entirely true...

Making the decision to admit myself into a treatment facility was a lot harder than I thought it would be. At first I was all about it, but as my admit date got closer and closer, I found myself feeling extreme amounts of guilt about receiving help. I think this was because I had always believed that God had already given me all the strength I need to overcome my trials, so relying on others to help me seemed so foolish. This was a thought I wrestled with even after I had been in treatment for a few weeks.

Now, looking back on everything, I have a completely different outlook. Do I believe that we can find all the strength we need in God? Yes. But here is something else I believe. I believe that God gives us strength in multiple ways, and one of those ways is through others. So next time you're feeling guilty about asking for or receiving help from others, you must catch yourself. Do NOT allow your guilt to turn away a helping hand, because essentially, that hand you're turning away is God's.

To go along with that, we should also remember that God is also using us as an instrument to help his other children who may be in need. So if you find yourself in a position to do so, don't hesitate to offer someone support they need.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


I have to say, I grew very fond of this daily goal setting and it is a routine I would like to keep for the rest of my life. Of course we all have these huge life goals that we are going after, but its the little goals that will get you there. So I guess that's what I want to challenge all of you guys to do. Set just one daily goal. And here are some guidelines that I found very helpful:

**don't just think about your goal, write it down! Really solidify it for yourself.
    "Goals that are not written down are just wishes"-- Fitzhugh Dodson

 **Really take some time to think about your goal. Make one that you know will be helpful for you that day and make it SPECIFIC. The specificity was always key for me. Rather than saying be productive, think of something you can actually do to be productive. Your goals can also be something to NOT do. Like DON'T text and drive (yes, I am ashamed to admit that this actually had to be one of my goals. But hey, I've been doing really good with it!).  

**Sometimes your goal for the day may seem really simple but yet really needed to be put at the forefront of your mind in order for you to actually do it, like... Go to bed by 10:30.

 **Find an accountability buddy. Someone that you will share this goal with and who can follow up with you to see how you did, and you can do the same for them. 

This concept of daily goal setting may seem frivolous but it has made a HUGE difference in my life and I think it can for you too. And hey, maybe you figured all of this out long before I did, and if that's the case, keep it up! 

.its all about the baby steps.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Elephant in the Room.

It took me a long while to decide that I was actually going to start blogging again.
I'll be honest, blogging gives me slight anxiety. And when I say slight, I mean MUCHO GRANDE (if you don't know Spanish, relax, neither do I, But I think it means something along the lines of big?)

So now that I've admitted to the uncomfortable feeling that I get when I think about blogging, I think it might be necessary to explain to you why it is that I'm doing it anyway.

First things first.
I'm going to expose the elephant in the room. And maybe you're thinking what elephant?? Which is not surprising because I'm very aware that this elephant blends in extremely well (with my African themed room and all) and most people aren't even aware that its there.

 ...I really do have an elephant in my room right now, which is why I was compelled to use that metaphor :)

Okay. I'll just get straight to the point.

I have been struggling with an eating disorder--or more specifically, bulimia, for the past 4..ish years of my life. And actually, let me rephrase that. I have been SUFFERING with bulimia. There. That more accurately describes my experience because it truly has felt like suffering rather than struggling. Struggling sounds much to mild for what it has been like.

Now, before you say anything, DONT SAY ANYTHING. Honestly. There is no need for any comments because my experience with peoples responses haven't been very good ones. But just some advice...if anyone ever tells you they have an eating disorder, do not, I repeat, DO NOT respond with anything close to the following:

"Really?? You don't Look like you have an eating disorder"

"Wow! I never would have guessed! You look so healthy!"

I could probably make the list longer, but I think you get the gist. My point is, comments like those are anything but helpful and truth is, to have an eating disorder does not mean you have to look emaciated. A person with bulimia can look average and sometimes even overweight. That doesn't mean that they aren't engaging in harmful behaviors multiple times a day. Another truth that people fail to recognize is that an eating disorder is more of a mental thing than it is a physical thing. Sure, it may affect your appearance quite a bit, but what its really destroying is your mentality (and your health).

Anyway, I am not telling you this very personal information because I'm seeking sympathy or attention in anyway, and no, I do not feel special or extraordinary for having an eating disorder, because unfortunately, what I'm dealing with is all too common. In fact the majority of people reading this have either suffered from an eating disorder themselves, or know someone close to them who has, so please don't misinterpret my intentions.

With that said, why don't I go ahead and tell you my intentions for this blog. That way there won't be any confusion.

 I have had the amazing privilege of spending the last few months living in a rehab facility for women and girls with eating disorders. I have since moved home but I still attend the day program there and I am still battling my eating disorder every day. Although it has been hell, I also see it as one of the biggest blessing in my life. And because I feel so blessed, I would feel selfish not to share what I'm learning in there with everyone I possibly can. If it were in my power, I would make everyone go and spend a few weeks in there whether or not they had an eating disorder, because the skills/tools we learn to use in there would benefit anyone. But since it's not feasible to send all of my loved ones to a place like that, I have committed to taking what I'm learning in there and passing it on in any way that I can. And what better way to do that then a blog??

 I have this overwhelming desire to help people. Maybe that's why I want to go into nursing. But while I wait for that dream career to come true, why not find other ways to help people. I believe I can help people by simply inspiring them. And the best part about inspiring people is that unlike nursing, I don't have to get accepted by a program to be able to practice it. I can be completely imperfect but still be able to inspire someone else. I believe that we can learn a lot through other peoples trials and shortcomings.

So I guess this blog is your invitation to come along on my personal journey to finding myself, and my hope is that maybe you'll be able to find parts of you along the way as well.