Breaking Up with Ed

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Ed hates me. I am good with that because I hate him more! I first met Ed when I was trying to diet. I was in an unhappy marriage and somehow thought that I’d feel better if I lost five pounds. I had tried losing the extra pounds and failed, feeling even more depressed than I had before. Quietly, Ed suggested that he had a diet that would work. I wasn’t interested at first. However, Ed convinced me that his plan would work. His advice? Eat three apples a day. If I did that for five days straight, then he would allow me to have a treat on the sixth day. I am a planner and this seemed like a plan that would work. I didn’t think that I would have the willpower to tackle such a restrictive diet, but with Ed’s constant encouragement it wasn’t as hard as I thought. However, the treat that Ed promised on the sixth day was more like an all-day eating fest in which I felt completely miserable and overwhelmed with guilt. Even after the binge day, I had lost weight for that week. Suddenly, I believed in Ed. Actually, I worshiped Ed.
I should have seen the signs that Ed was a control freak, but I was blinded by a temporary feeling of self-confidence because I was accomplishing my goal. Already, he knew me so well! I reached the five pound mark easily. Ed told me that I could do better. I could lose more. He began telling me that I was fat. Sometimes he would make me feel so ugly, that I couldn’t leave the house. I felt so confused. How could someone that had become my soul mate treat me so badly? Before long, he would not let me participate in any activities with my family or my friends. He wanted me home, alone with him. I had never met anyone more possessive. I tried, with great desire, to attend family meals and birthday parties. I tried to leave Ed behind. Uninvited, he would always appear. He’d whisper in my ear that everyone else was trying to make me fat. He caused me to become distrustful of everyone.
Finally, I became desperate to escape. As my health deteriorated, I knew that I was going to have to let him go, before he caused me to lose everything. The days that I was with Ed were the darkest days of my life. At 68 pounds, I just wanted that nightmare of a relationship to be over! As he attempt to keep my trust, Ed shared a secret with me. He said that he only reserved this secret for very special people. He invited me to become part of a unique club. In this club, people could eat whatever they wanted, as long as they got rid of all the food afterwards. It was a very scary idea, but Ed promised to keep me safe from harm. I had read about the harmful effects of bulimia, but Ed assured me that those horrible things could never happen to me. It wasn’t long before Ed was back in my good graces. He promised to let me spend time with my friends and family. He promised that I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I could live the perfect life. Ed’s promises were all lies. While my life was a little happier, I developed a new set of problems. Ed made me spend hours a day in the bathroom, while he laughed at me. Also, as soon as I ate, he shouted at me that I was a gluttonous pig. I couldn’t concentrate after I ate and felt desperate to rid myself of the food. And the worst part? I gained weight. Ed caused me to have an addiction that would unknowingly stay with me for twelve long years. When I discovered that I wasn’t going to be able to get rid of Ed myself, I began seeking therapy. Therapists promised to help and I spent thousands on doctors’ bills. As soon as I’d begin to feel as if I could leave him, he’d beg to me to stay. I’d always give in, thinking I’d stay with him just a little while longer. After I divorced, I felt that I should I date. Not a single relationship lasted. Ed demanded that I be alone with him only. He wanted my body, heart, and soul. He was so very jealous.
Eventually, while I was still with Ed, I met my future husband, Ashton.  When Ed tried to come between us, Ashton simply ignored Ed. Ashton wasn’t confrontational, and he wasn’t angry with Ed. Silently, Ashton made it clear to Ed that Ashton was going nowhere. As my relationship with Ashton became stronger, Ed became weaker. Ed even tried to ruin our wedding day. Once again he called me every horrible name in the book, but, for the first time ever, I completely ignored him. I wasn’t going to let him rob me of the most beautiful day of my life. After ignoring him once, I knew that I could ignore him again. I knew that I no longer needed Ed. Ed continued to be a third wheel in our relationship for four more years. However, his name-calling was becoming much weaker. Finally, I began to recognize Ed for the controlling monster that he was!
Today, Ed rears his ugly head once in a while. But for me, knowledge is my weapon. These days, I talk back to Ed. I call him ugly names. I fight with all the strength that I have. Eventually, with enough time between us, he will be a distant memory. Although he has won a few battles, he will NOT win the fight! Ed, Mr. Eating Disorder, you have made me a very strong woman! To any woman in my situation, be it an eating disorder or a bad relationship, fight for yourself. You are beautiful and you deserve better.  There is a better life waiting for you!

I am the Queen of Routine.

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 Without a doubt, I am the queen of morning routine. If anyone ever disrupts my morning routine, I am out of sorts for the entire day. In fact, I probably need medication for that problem! However, upon researching routines, I feel much better about my   “routine oddity”. It has been proven that people like patterns and predictability. A structured morning routine allows the day to flow more smoothly and eliminates any unnecessary stress. We can all agree that less stress is a very good thing. After all, an abundance of stress contributes to sickness and disease. Yuck!

 I roll out of the bed every morning at 5:03am. Why the strange time? Because 5:00 am is entirely too early. I find that I am most productive when my mind is freshly rested. As soon as I wake, I stagger up the stairs to the exercise bike where I spend 15 minutes exercising. Even in this short amount of time, I am able to get my oxygen flowing while
I raise my metabolism. Even a modest amount of exercise sets my tone for the entire day. This is a very good time to check morning emails and reminders on the ipad.

Once I am finished on the bike, the next 45 minutes is spent sipping coffee and making lists to mentally prepare for the day. I separate everything that needs to be done into two categories, work and home. Even if there are snafus during the day, I find that I can handle those situations if I have already had a mental walk-through of my day. When you fail to plan, you plan to fail!

Also included on my list are my daily chores. After a tiring week of teaching, the last thing I want to do on Saturdays are tons of chores. By scheduling a chore for each day of the week, I can save my Saturday afternoons for bigger house projects, spending time with friends and family, or wine tasting. We all know that wine tasting is my favorite activity! My afternoons without chores can be used for shopping or relaxing.

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Every morning, I connect with God by reading a devotional. This ensures that my mind and spirit are in sync with my body. I write the bible verse of the day on my chalkboard, which is just inside of the entryway. Every time I walk into the house, I am reminded to keep my focus on God. A queen and her castle are nothing without guidance from God!

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Breakfasts at QueenJarrell’s castle are routine as well. I have tried different things, but scrambled egg whites work the best for me. The protein keeps me satisfied until lunch. On Sundays nights, I chop vegetables to use in my eggs. As I get bored with the same vegetables, I switch them every week. Nearly nothing is off limits in my egg whites! I even try different spices. A queen needs adventure!

 

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Often, my lunches are routine. While I am chopping vegetables on Sunday nights, I throw together a few salads for the week. I usually use a mixture of spinach and baby kale. Today, I accessorized my salad with vegetables, and olives and walnuts for healthy fats. I am not overly excited by meat, so I mostly rely on the nuts and greens for protein. A small orange completes the lunch and is beneficial for vitamins. Teachers do tend to get sick!

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Throughout the day, I have made it part of my routine to drink, drink, drink. (No, not wine!) Drinking lemon water is important for boosting the immune system and clearing toxins. I really don’t love water and must make an extreme effort to drink. I do like green tea, hot or iced, sweetened with stevia. Green tea is an excellent antioxidant!  Ideally, I would use no artificial sweetener, but let’s not push the limits too much. Quality of life is important. Being a southern girl, I’m not sure that life would be worth living without sweet tea!  Stevia seems to be accepted among the nutrition gurus as the form of sweetener that is most safe. I definitely stay away from sugar and chemically laden sweeteners, which have been proven to poison the body. I do try to avoid poisoning myself when possible!

While routine may seem boring, a healthful daily routine can benefit the mind and body. Take it from the Routine Queen, when you feel less stressed and have more energy, you can enjoy being flexible and can better handle challenges that life will inevitably throw at you!