Today, November 5, 2011, I turn 27. For me, Birthdays have always been a time for reflection. I like to look back over the last year, not to dissect my mistakes or contemplate the “what ifs” but to appreciate how much I’ve grown and changed. This year marks my 10th year in recovery from anorexia. In honor of my 27th Birthday, I came up with 27 reasons why recovery is worth it and why I never want to go back to that dark place.

1. I can look in the mirror and think I look fat, see the scale go up a pound, or feel my jeans getting tight and still manage to have a GREAT day.

2. I rarely look in the mirror and think I look fat, in fact, most days I feel beautiful.

3. The relationships I have with people are more important than my relationship with food; sadly this was not always the case.

4. I have 10x more free-time because I don’t spend hours counting calories or fretting over my next meal.

5. If I get an offer to go out with friends, I don’t have to consult my workout schedule first.

6. I respect the needs and desires my body has instead of trying to suppress them, and I focus on all the amazing things my body CAN do, like this…

Rock climbing in Joshua Tree National Park

and this…

Snorkeling off the coast of Maui

and this…

At the top of Mt. Haleakala

7 I have constructive tools for dealing with problems instead of behaviors.

8 I no longer lie to the people I love, and as a result, I have earned the trust I never thought I deserved.

9. My behaviors no longer worry loved ones, and they don’t have to walk on eggshells around me, afraid I might break.

10. I define myself by my character and morals, not a number on the scale.

11. Shopping for new clothes is fun, no matter what size the label says.

12. When I go to the beach, I’m thinking about the beauty of the ocean, not the visibility of the cellulite on my ass.




13. I find serenity and peace in stillness instead of restlessness and anxiety, and I can enjoy yoga without thinking “I should be running right now.”

14. Running in the park is a form of relaxation, a way to connect with nature and feel alive, not a method for burning calories.

15. I can now spend my “me” time quietly reading a book or watching a movie instead of crying, trying to qualm my anxiety, or feeling alone and hopeless.

16. My body functions and feels better: my skin, hair, and nails are healthy; I have unlimited amounts of energy, and I’m not cold all the time.

17. Holidays are a time to have fun with family, relax, and eat good food…not an occasion to freak out over all the treats waiting to tempt me.

18. I am a better listener because my mind is not consumed with eating disorder thoughts.

19. I am a better friend because I can focus on other peoples’ problems instead of being consumed by my own.

20. I have the ability to do this at my wedding.





and eat this…

21. When in public I no longer think everyone is judging me, and when I run into an old friend I’m enjoying the reunion instead of fretting over whether they think I’ve gained weight.

22. I’m no longer ashamed of my naked body, allowing me to spend naked-time in more “amusing” ways than analyzing my butt in the mirror.

23. I can eat hotdogs at baseball games, cotton candy at amusement parks, and cake and ice cream on my Birthday without the lingering guilt.

24. Snuggling with my husband feels better when I’m not all skin and bones.

25. I can write this cooking blog with my husband just for fun and actually eat the food we make.

26. I can become a mom (this is a big one and has not always been a reality).

27. I am alive to see another year filled with opportunity and hope.

So Happy 27th Birthday to me! I’m looking forward to 28 when I’ll be able to add another reason to the list.