eating disorder recovery story

The following post, “Living in a Grey World” is an essay I contributed to the website Stigma Fighters, a non-profit mental health organization dedicated to helping real people with mental illness, back in April.  I was approached by SF because of my posts addressing my struggles with anxiety, emotional eating, and bulimia nervosa.  I think it’s crucial that people struggling with mental illness speak out and let others hear their voices and stories.  I wanted to share my story with my readers.

The first time I ever purged was in the bathroom of a Friendly’s restaurant at the age of 15. I had just finished eating a Colossal Burger, french fries, and chocolate ice cream with hot fudge and gummy bears.  You may be thinking, “after eating that combination of food no wonder you felt sick!” — This was true.  It was a lot of food, but it wasn’t the food that made me sick; it was how I felt about what I had eaten that was making me sick to my stomach.

After I had been finished regurgitating the $16.00 lunch my mother and father had bought me, I felt this immediate calm rush over me.  This feeling of peace which felt like a hug or a heated blanket, it was that comforting.

I thought, “I feel better. I’m okay.”

I felt better than before I had eaten.  It’s as if I had never eaten.

This “event” (as I will refer to it) started a fifteen-year battle, which I still must contend with every day.

See, back then I thought of bulimia as a skill, and for me, it was.   I could eat all the time, and all I had to do was make myself “get rid of it.”

I felt powerful.

However, even way back then, I knew that this wasn’t something I should do all the time.

I said to myself, “I’ll only use it on weekends.”

“I’ll only use it at holidays.”

However, this “control” I was so pleased about — being able to “get rid of” food I would overeat — started shifting into every weekend and then, unfortunately, over time, every day.

After I had graduated from high school, I moved out to Denver from New Hampshire to live with my best friend.

It was my first time living on my own.  I was 2000 miles away from my family.  It was at this point in my life, where I was purging up to five times a day.

However, I wasn’t overeating every day.  No.  I was purging after the consumption of reasonable amounts of food.  I couldn’t stand the way anything felt in my stomach.  The instant I would feel food or liquid in my belly, I would immediately start to panic.  I could feel myself expanding.  I thought I looked fatter.  My jeans were tight around my waist.  This feeling couldn’t be just in my head; I could physically feel my body reacted whenever I ate.

I couldn’t rest until  I could “get rid of” what I had consumed.  If I didn’t evacuate my system, fast, this feeling would overwhelm me.

To the people around me, I looked healthy.  I wasn’t underweight.  At times I was slightly overweight.  However, people started to notice that I wasn’t myself.  I was much more anxious and much less happy.  I made comments about my weight 24/7.  I made comments about what everybody else was eating.  As you can imagine, the relationship I had with my best friend became very shaky.  In fact, we spent over two years not speaking to one another as a result of the person I had become.

I started therapy to work on my bulimia and emotional eating issues and got to a point for a while when I wasn’t purging at all.  However, to make up for the lack of control I had with the food I was eating, I decided to take up an excessive amount of exercise.

I would run five miles to work, be on my feet all day long, and then run the five miles home and then some.  Every day.  I thought that it was healthy for me.  I mean, I was exercising, right?  Surely cardio is better than sticking your fingers down your throat multiple times a day.

However, my exercise obsession soon caught up with me.  I would give myself heat stroke, flu-like symptoms from dehydration, and my hair started to get coarse and thin.  My therapist told me that I was replacing one compulsive behavior for another and that we should start paying closer attention to my “triggers.”

I thought, “Lady, I don’t have any triggers other than the fact that I have to eat and I hate the way it makes me feel!

I kept food journals.  I wrote down what I had to eat.  I wrote down how I felt before and after I ate.  I documented the times I exercised and purged.  I visited a nutritionist.  I visited a psychiatrist.  I tried anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, and meditation.

I still obsessed over food and felt it’s complete control over me.

After I had graduated from college, I moved to New York.  I moved in with a boyfriend who was a secret alcoholic and 14 years my senior.  I was a secret emotional eater and bulimic and 24 years old.  You can only guess what this choice did for my eating disorder issues, I’m sure.

At first, as with any relationship, things were great.  We were in love, and things were perfect (well, as perfect as they could be).  I got a job, settled into life, and tried to keep a balanced diet and exercise.  I kept my bulimia issues a secret.  I would get up in the middle of the night to eat hidden food and then would purge in the bathroom.  I would binge eat on my lunch break and purge in the bathroom in the warehouse where nobody could hear me.  I guess in those days I thought, “as long as nobody knows I’m doing this and get away with it, I’m not doing anything wrong.”

What wonderful logic, huh?

If a bulimic person binges and purges when no one’s around, did it happen?  If only it were that easy to ignore.

As two people living with addictive personalities will clash, my boyfriend at the time and I started to bring out the worst in each other.  I drove him to drink, and he drove me to bulimia.  It was an awful cycle.   It was at this point that I officially switched from binging and purging and moved into emotional eating.

I didn’t care about having friends or doing anything with my life.  I just cared about making myself numb by eating all the time.  When I went to the doctors for a yearly pap smear, they weighed me.  I weighed over 150 pounds.  I had never weighed that much in my life.  As a 5 foot tall girl, this was considerably overweight for my frame.  I became emotional.  It was as if it was the first time I had felt anything for months, but it wasn’t a good feeling.

I decided I had to do something.  I knew I was unhappy.  And I knew that what I was doing to myself was much bigger than what I could understand.  I decided to go back to a therapist, but this time I was going to be selective.  I couldn’t pick a decent boyfriend.  I couldn’t control myself with food.  However, I could control who I chose to help me get myself back.

My therapist’s specialties were eating disorders and anxiety; the two things from which I was suffering.  I never understood how much anxiety I had until I worked with her. I also never understood that it was the root of my problem.  Therapy helped me to understand the patterns of my behavior and how my underlying anxiety contributed to my disordered eating.

For once in my life, I felt like I was capable of understanding my behavior.

I learned that the cycle I was trapping myself in was something I could gain control over.

A couple of times, like during the recession when I couldn’t find a steady job and while my father was dying from cancer, I did relapse.

After I lost my father in 2011, I decided to change my life and take hold of my health.

I became a fitness instructor, certified personal trainer, and certified nutrition specialist.  I educated myself about exercise and food and how to use the two in a respectful and balanced manner.  I also started a blog, so I could talk about my passion for wellness and living a happy life.

In November, I married the love of my life, and in March I moved to Scotland to live with him.

My logic is no longer about all or nothing, black or white, and yes or no decisions.

I live in a grey world, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for Thursdays are for Thinking Out Loud.

Do you feel that mental illness is seen as a stigma?  For more information on Stigma Fighters and their mission click here.

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Everybody loves to hear this, right?  One change that could help you conquer your weight loss struggle, once and for all?  The one small change that I did that helped me lose weight, and it didn’t require me to cut out any major food group OR do a single extra burpee.

Here it is.  It’s not award winning psychology, but it works.  One small change for lasting weight loss.

I know, I know.  You hear this/read this ALL the time, huh?  Stop obsessing about the number on the scale.  You know why you keep being revisited by this mantra?  You keep being haunted by this because you NEED TO FORGET THE SCALE AND MOVE ON.  Period.  I’m not going to tell you anything you don’t already know somewhere inside of you.

For instance, that regular scales only dictate a single mass reading and don’t include the parts of you which are fat, muscle, or water.  OR that your weight can fluctuate due to the simplest of things like stress, illness, or hormonal changes or that most scales aren’t entirely accurate.  OR maybe, just like the scale can’t measure your muscle mass, adipose, and water precisely– it also can’t measure your worth as a human being.  

Do you want to know the real secret to measuring weight loss?  Believe that you are losing the weight.

I’m serious.

Just that shift in your thinking will make things happen.  It has been proven time and time again.

As a coach who works with people on weight loss and fitness journeys, I ask them to take their lives seven days at a time and “believe they are thinner or stronger.”

And just like you’re probably saying to your computer or phone screen right now, “bitch, please” — just hear me out.

This practice has worked for people — I have seen it happen with my eyes.  This personal cognitive approach to their body image not only made them happier but also improved their ongoing weight loss results.

We create our reality.  Our minds are VERY powerful, and just a simple misfire upstairs can make you see the world around you differently.  I won’t get all quantum theory on you right now, but I will say this, you are absolutely 100% a slave and victim to your thoughts.  If your thoughts are defeatist and stagnant, then guess what? Your reality will be too!

Reflections of your thoughts are stronger than what’s there.

I know this sounds too good to be true that all you need to do is believe yourself to be thinner.  It probably sounds easier said than done.  Well, it is easier said than done, but, then again, it isn’t.  To “believe you are thinner” you need to have a few things working in your favor.  Making the decision to change your thoughts toward any goal requires a solid framework to keep you in check.  Here’s a guideline to help keep you motivated and progressive during your weight loss journey!

Have realistic expectations.  Losing weight is super frustrating, but what can make the process so much more painful is how we visualize it and expect it to be.  If you have a habit of being a black and white thinker (like I’ve been MOST of my life) you want those results right away.  You must keep your eyes on the realistic prize.  It has taken me literal years to come to grips with the fact that my body just isn’t going to look the way I want it thought it “should look” no matter what I do.  I am what I am, and knowing what the best version of me is has helped me make peace with it.  Thinking forward, please be real with yourself.

Set small goals for yourself.  You may lose a significant amount of weight the first week or two of your program, but alas, this is not the norm.  Have you ever heard the saying that “if you set smaller goals, you will accomplish more”?  Well, it’s true.  Again, this ties in with having realistic expectations.

By setting smaller goals, you will be able to tackle a larger goal in smaller-to-swallow bits, and I can’t tell you how much better this is on your mental attitude towards weight loss.

Reward yourself every single day.  Most of the time, people say to you to reward yourself only when you’ve reached a goal.  I think that taking control of your health and wanting to feel better about yourself deserves daily recognition.  I’m not suggesting you celebrate every evening with a margarita or buy yourself a new pair of shoes each day, but you can be kind to yourself and recognize your strengths and beauty each and every day.  Take a little more time on your walk home or getting ready in the morning for work.  Simple things that you may have failed to allow yourself in the past.

sorry. had to.

Which brings me to my last point

Address yourself today.  One of the things that keep people from reaching their weight loss goals (and most definitely in keeping their weight off) is the lack of addressing your issues in the here and now.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, losing weight isn’t a magic solution.  You will still be you mentally and emotionally, just less of you physically.  

Let’s face it, losing weight is a journey that requires so much more than increased cardio and balanced nutrition.  So please, please, PLEASE start to address the feelings, issues, and relationship you have with yourself right now while you’re losing the weight.  It’s one of the most surefire ways to keeping the weight off and staying healthy for life.  

Most of life feels like mind games, and, well, it pretty much is.  There are plenty of times where giving up seems like the only sure thing out there, but you can get the results you want if you keep an active mind, a compassionate heart, and a determined body.

Remember, the only person standing in your way — ever — is you.

When it comes to weight loss or fitness goals, do you believe that your thoughts dictate your progress?  Have you ever been a “slave or victim” to your thoughts?

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interview

 

Wow, it’s been, like, almost two months since my last linkup with Jessica and Jill for #DishTheFit.  It’s been a jam-packed time for me lately with just completing my nutritional therapist certification and starting up my personal training business.  But when I saw that this week was an interview, I thought it would be a great time to share some thoughts AND get back in touch with the amazing people who #DishTheFit weekly (probably much more regularly than I do)!

This week Jessica and Jill did something a bit different, they have turned the topic into an informative and interesting set of interview questions.  Answering interview questions is not only a great way to share our thoughts, but also, it gets us all thinking deeply about topics we don’t always work into words.

With that being said …let’s dish!

The Fit Dish Interview

 

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE?

I would have to say my proudest achievement to date would have to be waking up in 2012 and deciding that I needed to take control of my health.  Since the day I made that executive decision about my life, I have made one good choice after another.  I have to believe that I wouldn’t be where I am now (both physically and mentally) if I had not taken the initiative to make getting fit and healthy a priority.  I wouldn’t be a personal trainer, fitness instructor, blogger, or nutritional therapist if I had not made this choice.  I wouldn’t be here answering this question on my BLOG if I hadn’t made that amazing decision (and stuck with it)!

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proof that one good decision leads to many more

 

WHAT KEEPS YOU PASSIONATE?

I believe our passions are born from our motivations.  You know when people say, “fear is a great motivator”?  Well, for me, that’s very true.  I fear going back to a place mentally where I don’t feel good about myself or that I’m worth the effort of staying healthy.  What truly keeps me passionate is knowing that I deserve to treat myself better than I ever did before.  You know that feeling you get after you finish a challenging workout, fit into your old jeans, or can help others reach their goals?  Well, that feeling can’t be topped by money or all the possessions in the world — it’s born from motivation and maintained through passion!  Oh yeah, and having this blog DEFINITELY doesn’t hurt when it comes to keeping passionate either. 😉

 

new banner3WHAT MAKES YOU THE MOST PROUD TO BE A WOMAN?

Um, we’re badass!  Seriously though, we are. The things that make me most proud to be a woman are our strength, empathy, leadership qualities, and yeah, did I mention we’re badass?  #IAmWoman

Photo Credit : Pinterest

WHY DO YOU THINK IT’S SO IMPORTANT FOR WOMEN TO UNITE AS A SISTERHOOD AND EMPOWER EACH OTHER?

Let’s face it, women feel more pressure than men.  Despite the fact that it’s 2015, women are still faced with so many bullshit labels and expectations.  The truth is — with all the pressures we have placed on ourselves — we need to build each other up and know we’re in this together!  Mean girls never prosper, and you want to know why?  Because they are so broken down from breaking other girls down.  If you want to feel strong, capable, and empowered love yourself and love other women with the same fierceness.

 

WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF SOME SMALL WAYS WE CAN EMPOWER THE WOMEN AROUND US IN OUR DAY TO DAY LIFE?

Truthfully, I think this starts with ourselves.  Making ourselves feel content and worthwhile enables us to share that empowerment with other women.  It’s so easy to give another girl a compliment or tell her she’s capable, but make sure you believe that about yourself first.

Be kind.

Be compassionate.

Treat others the way you would like to be treated.

See why it’s so important to start that empowerment cycle from within?

WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH THE FITFAM? 

Work on the inside as much as the outside.  Exercise your soul, not just your heart.  It’s the only way we can maintain our passion, compassion, and accomplish our dreams.  It’s what’s within you that creates what you give to others.

[Tweet “”Exercise your soul, not just your heart — it’s what’s within you that creates what you give to others” @BeetsPerMinute http://wp.me/p5q00n-Vw #IAmWoman”]

I can’t wait to see what others have shared and thanks to Jessica and Jill, this was an excellent week at #DishTheFit  — Super #FitFamLove

How would you answer these questions?  Join the conversation!

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Nutrition and Illness | Genetics| Nutritional Therapy

Hey, friends!  I apologize for this post being a little bit later than I had planned.  I was set on taking my final exam for my nutritional therapy certification last week, and I’m happy to say that I’m officially a nutritional therapist!

Getting my NT certification was just the first step in a long line of education I plan to receive regarding nutrition and health.  While a nutritional therapist is not a registered dietitian or nutritionist, they can work with individuals struggling with health conditions to help alleviate and prevent ailments through dietary recommendations.

But, that is another blog post in itself.

Nutritional Therapy

In part one of my series, I discussed my father’s experience with nutritional information during the diagnosis and treatment of his advanced stage cancer.  I mentioned that, in all of his extended visits to the hospital, in addition to visits with his oncologist (and even oncology nutritionist) he was given only one session and little other guidance on the power of nutrition.  I also discussed where I feel some shortcomings are when it comes to standard cancer treatment; mainly the lack of nutritional guidance to complement traditional medical care.

Nutritional therapy is a complementary medicine — meaning it is used alongside conventional treatments offered through health care professionals.  I am not writing this post today to tell you to fire your primary care doctor and start eating barrels full of vegetables, and you’ll be able to live until you’re 100.  I am writing this post to talk about the basics of how our bodies work and how we can change our health (for better or for worse) through the foods we do (and do not) put in our bodies.

Part Two:  Nutrition and Our Genes

We’re all born with a genetic makeup that’s uniquely ours.  For example, all the cells in your body have the same DNA code.  However, that same DNA, in different conditions, results in various types of cells.  In comes epigenetics, or changes in the regulation of the expression of gene activity without alteration of the genetic structure.

Epigenomes are chemical compounds of which are not part of the DNA sequence, but are on or attached to DNA.  Epigenomic modifications remain as cells divide and in some cases can be inherited through the generations (for instance, during pregnancy).

In layman’s terms, although our DNA cannot be changed, there are forces outside of our genetic makeup — such as our environment, stress on the body, and the foods we eat — which contribute to the silencing and activation of our genes.

In fact, environmental signals can also affect the genomic imprinting process itself. Genomic imprinting is genes which are expressed in a parent-of-origin-specific manner. For instance, if an allele ( a variant form of a gene) inherited from the father is imprinted, it is thereby silenced, and only the allele from the mother is expressed.

That’s a bit more in-depth and believe me; I’m no. However, one of the most accessible (and studied) factors on epigenetics can be found through the study of nutrition.

When we eat food, the compounds of that food are manipulated, modified, and molded into resources our bodies can use. Through metabolic processes.  And within these modified metabolic processes, one, in particular, is responsible for making methyl groups, which are the epigenetic tags that silence genes by being attached to our DNA.

However, it’s not just our diets that affect our genes.  Chemicals that are released into our bodies, during times of psychological stress, interact with our epigenome, which are believed to promote aging and disease.  Whereas, chemicals released into our bodies during exercise can reduce psychological stress and therefore help to reduce aging and disease.

In short, it’s not necessarily that we “are what we eat” but more that we “become what we eat”.

Think about a nutrient such as folic acid — which is recommended to women who are planning on becoming or are pregnant — a key component in the methyl-making process, and diets high in methyl-promoting nutrients can rapidly alter gene expression.

The connection between nutrition and genetic expression is still deeply explored and studied.  However, many nutrients have been proven to influence and improve our epigenome for the better.   Vital nutrients such as folic acid, Vitamin B12, and choline all play important roles in our formative and ongoing health.

In short, it’s not necessarily that we “are what we eat” but more that we “become what we eat.”

None of us are going to wake up with a tail tomorrow, but our DNA (the very stuff that makes us who we are) is being impacted (for better or worse) with each bite we take.

Take control of what you can.

It may seem like life is just a big game of roulette.  My father was a reasonably healthy man; he didn’t eat lots of meat, he was an avid hiker, non-smoker, and didn’t drink.  How often do you hear a conversation about a person who lived until they were nearly 100 and ate cheese, drank gin, and smoked all day long?  I know I hear stories like that all the time. However, I also can name a bunch of people aged 60 and under who took decent care of their bodies and still died relatively young.

It’s no wonder why so many people think, “well, if I’m going to die anyway, I’m just going to eat what I want/smoke/drink/etc.”  And you may be right to think you should enjoy yourself to that extent, but just because you live a long life doesn’t necessarily mean it will be one free of disease or discomfort.  Nutrition is one of the ways we can have some control over our health.  I guess that’s why when nutrition isn’t at the forefront of fighting (and more importantly, preventing) ill; it gets to me.  We can have chemicals and pills galore at our doctor’s disposal when we’re sick, but the truth is, perhaps the “cure” for it not happening in the first place has always been at our fingertips.

Revisiting the example in part one with my father’s oncologist — her disregard when it came to my dad’s diet — knowing now what I didn’t know back then, actually made me think about nutrition education in general.  I believe there are simply not enough emphasis on nutrition at any stage of health care.  I can count on one hand myself how many times I’ve been asked about my diet during a visit to my doctor, and thankfully, I’ve been a relatively healthy person my whole life.  However, I’ve only ever had one doctor recommend a dietary approach to a chronic condition I had, but it was only after traditional chemical medications wouldn’t help me.  I don’t know for certain, but I’m sure many of you can relate to this scenario personally.

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I want to stress again; I am not saying that traditional treatments and medications are not necessary when it comes to serious illness.  I am suggesting that even in the face of chronic illness there should be guidance given to pursue a natural and nutritional alternative based route in addition to traditional therapies.  Maybe nutritional advice will never come from a general practitioner or cardiologist, but the fact that nutritional specialists and therapists are out there should provide some peace of mind to those who would like to take control of their dietary health.  It is for that very reason is why I have pursued a nutritional therapy certification.  And this is why I will continue to learn and educate people about the vital importance and role of nutrition in their overall health profile.

If you have any interest in meeting with me (virtually, unless you’re in the Glasgow area) and going over your nutritional profile, please feel free to contact me directly (my email is in the “about me” section in the menu on the right sidebar).

**I am a recent graduate of the Health Sciences Academy with a natural therapist certification in Nutritional Therapy.  The educational information I have included in this post is directly from the curriculum I received and recommended resources from their Nutritional Therapist certification program.

Can you think of a time when a nutritional therapist could have been of benefit to you?

 

 

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Do you ever step back and think beyond yourself about yourself?  You know, like, away from your basic constitution as a human being to try and figure out why you do what you do?

Well, if you have (and even if you haven’t), join me in this edition of Thinking Out Loud with Amanda at Running with Spoons. (Lady, thank you for letting us all get it out — you’re truly awesome!)


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Come this Friday, I have officially been in the UK for 60 days.  That seems like forever, but considering I plan on staying here for a long time (possibly forever), it’s a drop in the (eternity) bucket.  

I have had a very open dialogue about the stress and anxiety I have experienced since I moved here to live with my husband, Luke.  Like, seriously, some of you are probably over hearing about it, but it’s still something I contend with daily.

I keep feeling like I should be more settled, should have a job (like, not even a great one), a sense of identity, and a general feeling of purpose.  I mean, it’s sort of difficult to thrive when you don’t feel like a real person 90% of the time.  I actually equate this feeling to the one I had after I graduated from college, moved to New York, and broke up with my long-term boyfriend — the only difference is, I had a (youthful) sense of optimism running through my veins back then.

It’s not like I knew what I wanted to do with my life back then, or anything.   At least now I have a clear picture and focus of what I really want.  I mean, does anybody other than like 3% of people really know what they want to do before the age of 30, 40 or ever really? Really?

That inability to know what I wanted from my life continued for YEARS and caused me to fill the void with all kinds of (not so good) habits and people.

As I am quickly approaching 35, I feel myself reflecting on everything (WAY more than when I turned 30, I mean, I had 4 years of wiggle room to still f*** up).  I had no idea I would spend the past eleven years, since leaving college, doing the following things, over and over again:

Getting jobs and losing jobs.

Finding love and losing love.

Making friends and losing friends.

Gaining pounds and losing pounds.

Leaving America and returning to America.

Losing a parent.

Gaining a spouse.

Leaving America again.

Starting over completely.  

When I look back on it, I can’t believe it all has happened.  I mean, I’m a zygote in the grand scheme of things, and I feel like I’ve lived several lives already.  That said, it was 11 years filled with laughter, love, tears, anger, happiness, loss, gains, and everything else.

As I face this (nearly) blank slate that is my life right now, I can’t help but laugh a bit that I think I feel scared.  Scared of what?  Rejection?  I’ve been rejected more times than I can count, and it’s never failed to open bigger and better doors for me.

Um, hello, Erin, how many frogs did you have to kiss to find your prince?

I plead the fifth on that one, but yes, I have a wonderful husband and life partner for sure.

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I have come to realize – I am not living in fear right now, no.  I have been living too comfortably.  I guess it’s my “intentional subconscious” (is that such a thing)?  In the past –whenever I got uncomfortable — I lost something (people, ideas, goals), so, my brain feels like as long as I never get uncomfortable, I won’t have anything to lose.

However, I know that by not allowing myself to get uncomfortable (and potentially lose opportunities) I also will never raise the bar for myself.

After all, rejection is just a way for life to raise the bar for us all.  Sure, when rejection happens, it sucks.  It hurts.  It makes you feel worthless, empty, and alone, BUT it also will push you onward (and hopefully upward).

Just think of all the people, places, and things we would never have experienced if rejection hadn’t raised their bar.

 

1.  Albert Einstein.  Apparently the parents and teachers of this guy thought he was “mentally handicapped” –which ended up now being seen as a learning disability, but he kind of turned out to be a big deal.

2.  Elizabeth Gilbert.  Liz was rejected as a writer for five years straight, until one of her articles was revived from a “slush pile” at Esquire and soon established her as the first unpublished short-story writer to debut in the magazine since Norman Mailer.  Also, before she wrote Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir of experience working as bartender at the famous Coyote Ugly bar was later turned into the film, Coyote Ugly.

 3.  Theodore Suess Geisel.  The places this guy went — other than the bank — were far above and beyond the places the first 27 publishers he submitted transcripts of his first book thought he ever would.

4.  Steve Jobs.  He started Apple, and then got fired from it, but then left to start Pixar and was brought back on as the CEO of Apple.  Here’s a beautiful (but humblingly sad) video of his commencement address at Stanford University in 2005.   In this comencement he shares how an unconventional path and the drive to never lose sight of his passions made him the legacy he will forever be.  (Special thanks to Jill Conyers for sharing this.)

5. Mold.  Yeah, that creepy stuff that grows hair on things that shouldn’t ever have it, helps like save people’s lives now.  I mean, it had a serious makeover, but seriously, if this gross inconvenience that lived in most of our college refrigerators never existed, people could die from things they catch on public transportation.  True story.

Sorry about that last one, but I think it makes my point.  As I am writing this post, I’m thinking of all the ways in which I will be uncomfortable in the weeks and months to come  — and the inevitable rejection that follows such discomfort.  However, I have to believe each discomfort will be accompanied by an opportunity to propagate my success rather than accelerate my failure.

In the end, that simple shift in mindset is proof of why I am where I am right now; stronger, wiser, and just uncomfortable enough to see what happens next.

As always, thanks for hanging in there whilst I think out loud.

[Tweet “Rejection is how life will raise the bar for your successes. via @beetsperminute http://wp.me/p5q00n-Q9 #rejection #success #refusefailure”]

Do you see rejection as a means to your overall success?  Have you ever looked back at a disappointment only to see that it was the best thing that could have happened?

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