healing in layers

It’s been over seven years since I last gave in to the lies that come along with anorexia and bulimia. And now, here I am sharing analogies that directly relate to food (there was actually a time in my life that nothing relating to food could ever be comical or taken lightly). Really though, the point of this particular post is not only to expand on my road to recovery… but also to share that although I live like a perfectly normal person (for the most part), my recovery continues and it continues into areas that I didn’t even know needed it.

God has so graciously brought people into my life at very specific and absolute perfect times to facilitate healing and to make me whole again… and I am beyond grateful every time I realise that He is doing something more in me, that He continues to make me whole and that He cares enough to give me one more layer. That He cares enough about the practicality of life and that He is faithful beyond what we could ever imagine.

When I entered the initial phase of recovering from my eating disorder, when I took that first step and walked into a doctor’s rooms to get help, do you know what she told me? … BY THE GRACE OF GOD ALONE… she told me that society will say that I will never fully heal, that I may get better and learn to manage my eating disorder but that I will live with it for the rest of my life.. she then went on and told me that we serve a God that is far greater than society, she told me not to believe those lies and she told me that full recovery IS POSSIBLE. She told me to believe that and to trust God for that with everything that I am.

Guys, seven years down the line. Seven years (probably more) of saying, I AM HEALED and God continues to restore. He continues to add these layers, ,and I just can’t keep quiet about it. I know I have written a little bit about this before… but the story continues.

The core of my healing came when God released me spiritually. After months of crying out to Jesus I stood in church, raised my hands and literally felt chains falling off of my wrists. I knew I was free but after so many years of neglecting my body, I had NO IDEA what was normal and what was not. Having food inside of me, felt completely foreign and I didn’t have a clue how to deal with that.

The second layer was a very practical one. Having people walk alongside me day by day, meal by meal, correcting my thoughts and developing a more normal eating pattern. I had to learn what it was to be hungry and what it was to be full again. Thinking about those particular people who walked this road with me, I have tears of gratitude streaming down my cheeks… you will never know what an impact every message, every phone call and every bit of time you gave up had on me, my life and my family.

I had a little wobble at some point during the process, we had lost two babies and I began to feel a little less than worthy. I started to believe the lies once more. One day I had Dr Phil on in the background while he was talking to someone who had anorexia. I don’t remember much of the conversation except that they spoke about hormonal imbalances and infertility. And just like that I knew that for the sake of my future family I had to rise above the lie and strive forward, believing and trusting for FULL healing.

For six years after that I gave little thought to food (which is pretty unbelievable). I ate what I wanted when I wanted,  I watched my body go through two beautiful pregnancies which I loved and enjoyed. I watched a body that was so broken, hold brand new and perfect life. I came to realise that God’s grace goes far beyond what we could ever imagine.

One would think that that would be the final layer, that I was healed… but in the last year, God has given me more.

While eating what I wanted when I wanted was great for my mind, it was less than that for my body. Nobody can or should be able to function optimally on the amount of sugar and processed foods I was eating six years down the line. But, truth be told, I was scared to put any thought into food, I was scared that if I began thinking about labels and what was in my food, I would fall right back into my old ways.

But… GOD IS BIGGER. He cares about the details, he had brought me this far and there was no way He was letting me go back. Shortly after embarking on a healthier way of eating, He gave me a sounding board, someone who listened and reminded me of how good it was to care for myself, that healthy food was not something to be feared but something that would nourish me. Someone who listened to my concerns and corrected me where I was wrong. Someone who felt safe for me to voice my thoughts that are often to foreign to others.

This year I started exercising again. I can now run without thinking about how many calories I’m burning or which meal I can cancel out because of the distance I’ve covered. I can eat cake and enjoy it. Seven years down the line and God is still restoring, He is bringing healing to areas that I was content to forget. He is making me whole. Every Day.

IMG_3647

To those who have facilitated in this process… How could I ever thank you enough. You all hold such a dear place in my heart, one that is so full of gratitude. Thank You!!

 

International Owl Awareness Day

Actually, International Owl Awareness Day was yesterday… but it’s too much of a goodie to miss! What a week, with World Breastfeeding Week, The beginning of the Olympic Games and Owl Awareness too, running multiple campaigns for multiple companies, one new website, one new showroom on the go, my first ‘baby three’ doctors visit, elections and two sick kids who have been at home for TWO weeks… I’m hoping you will forgive my less that punctual piece. I just couldn’t let this one go… because owls are my absolute BEST.

owl

Growing up there was a resident owl in my grandparents neighbourhood, He was often seen perched on top of one particular stop sign. And I think that is where my fascination began, because he (or she) was nothing like other birds. He had character and a connection to his surroundings as well as the people in the community. I’m sure most Benonians will be able to recall this beautiful bird? Its a pity smart phones weren’t around then, otherwise I’m sure someone would’ve had a pic. He was part of growing up.

What a privilege that was – today, the only owls my children have seen are in cages. We often think that it’s the presence of people that drive owls away, in truth, owls and humans generally get along. In Japan, owl cafe’s are common where one can hang out with these magnificent creatures while enjoying a cup of tea (I’m not saying I agree with the practice, I’m just stating this as point of interest when it comes to the social side of these birds). They are intelligent and sociable. Did you know that the eyes of an owl are not true “eyeballs.” Their tube-shaped eyes are completely immobile, providing binocular vision which fully focuses on their prey and boosts depth perception, this is why owls need to be able to rotate their necks 270 degrees. A blood-pooling system collects blood to power their brains and eyes when neck movement cuts off circulation. AMAZING!!!

These days, owls are unfortunately still prosecuted due to the belief that they bring bad luck and death. They are also all too often the victims of secondary poisoning due to feeding on poisoned rats and mice – when they could in fact be a natural rodent deterrent for us all. Did you know that the average barn owl eats up to 1000 rodents p/year.

So, how can we become more owl friendly?

  • Use traps instead of poison to control mice and rats
  • Leave dead trees standing if they are not dangerous
  • Use less paper and recycle – we all know where paper comes from, and where owls like to live
  • Don’t encourage your dogs to chase birds
  • Remove any unused barbed wire on your property
  • Only pick up Owl chicks if you know they are injured or ill – also, lets leave owl care to the experts
  • Put up an Owl box – you can get them here or make one yourself
  • Mow less of your lawn -short grass is not good wildlife habitat, which means there will be less owl food there

 

another beautiful beginning

Baby three has been on (and off) the cards for ages. I’ve blogged about it, and spoken about it, we’ve gone back and forth, we’ve been ready and then not. I’ve been ready when Phil hasn’t and he’s been keen when I haven’t.

But, the time is now… It’s time for another beautiful beginning.

For us, anything unplanned has never been an option, and not only because we are both so OCD inclined –  the risk is just too high. Over the last couple of years, we have done everything we can to protect ourselves from another loss. My doctor has said that things can change and because we have had two successful pregnancies there is a chance the next could be just fine. For us, the responsibility  of that ‘could be’ feels too big.

We trust God with everything we are for a healthy, full term pregnancy and we believe that He has given us modern technology and medicine to help us sustain a pregnancy. I believe that God’s intervention in any physical difficulty should be sought. He does not promise that He will answer the way we always want, but we have the assurance that all He does will be done in love and thus in our best interest. At this point, flying solo just seems unwise and almost like it would be choosing not to use the amazing resources that He has provided.

Please hear me when I say that I believe this is the right journey for us and that this is the way God is working things out in us and for us. A fertility journey is an emotional, complex and very personal thing and it’s something that looks very different for many people. I am not saying that this is THE way, I am simply saying that we are moving forward, in faith, continually seeking Him and knowing that ultimately, this child is His. If you are on your own fertility journey, I urge you to pray and seek Him and His will for your story.

bb55e4b06bfee37bcfb72752008dd5d9.jpg

Journey to bump

Now that we are all on the same page and feeling a lot of excitement, the process can officially begin.

Pregnancy supplements will begin next week, then in two weeks time I will see my gynae for a check-up. From there (on September 8th to be exact) we will see Dr Rodrigues at Medfem. If it’s anything like the last time, we will most likely start with blood tests, scans and a dose of glucophage to get the ball rolling. With both our girls (and the babies we lost) I have fallen pregnant very easily, it’s been the ‘hanging on to it’ part that we’ve battled with, so the pre-pregnancy stuff is pretty straightforward and more just a case of making sure everything is in a good place. I’m excited for all of it – there is a lot of comfort that comes with familiarity and it is wonderful to be going back to doctors that I know and were such a big part of my previous pregnancies and losses. 

Hopefully, we will have some happy news in posts to come. Thank you for joining us, praying for us and encouraging us on this wonderfully exciting journey.

Richards Family 051

 

Journeying with a homoeopath : the beginning

It was a little more than a year ago when my gynae prescribed a pregnancy… and we opted for the pill instead. You can read about the ins and outs of that decision here and here.

Well…. that didn’t go so well. I started off on Yaz, which made me feel nauseous and tired and had me taking pregnancy tests every week just to make sure those symptoms were actually the pill and not a little being in my belly. After three months, the spotting came back and my doctor switched me to Qlaira- which didn’t work either. Although I felt better on this pill, my cycles were all over the place. Still not happy, I went back to my gynae who then put me onto Zoely and told me that this was pretty much my last option as she wasn’t sure where to go from here.

zoely

Continue reading

one recipe everyone should own

The age old tale lives on. Some doctors believe that the benefits of chicken soup are mainly psychosomatic, that it’s nothing more than the ultimate comfort food. Others say the steaming hot soup clears congestion and provides the body with necessary hydration to flush out viral bugs. Either way, it’s a goodie.

I discovered this recipe about a year ago when I had my dental surgery & braces fitted, and then it made a comeback as winter approached and our recent cold spell hit. I love that it is easy enough to whip up when needed, I almost always have the ingredients for it and my girls think it’s delicious. What a win!

Continue reading

going green

When Phil and I got engaged and I started to carefully consider how I was going to run our future home, I looked a little into earth friendly household products but never bought any. When we decided to have a baby I looked into cloth diapering (because ‘nappying’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it) but again, never bought even one. I guess what I am trying to say is that choosing a more natural way of living has always appealed to me – I just never really had the courage or conviction to properly execute it.

And then last year happened, and we made some pretty dramatic changes to what we ate as a family – we began to choose food in it’s most natural form over food which has been processed. This recently flowed over to choosing food which is grown organically over food that is ‘built for shelf life’.

Continue reading

the prettiest pictures of all

Last year I was fortunate enough to win a family photo shoot through wind in a letterbox and earlier this year we eventually got round to meeting up with Utami from Utami Rostoll Photography

Photo shoots are not something we usually look forward to. I love the photo’s but having them done, generally feels like a chore. We have had a particularly bad experience with a photographer in the past and let’s not forget that I am currently sporting a mouth full of ‘aesthetically pleasing’ metal – which I am actually very conscious of. So, while I was keen to see the results I was not terribly excited about the event.

Well, we ended up having the best time! Utami is so relaxed and lovely to work with. The shoot took place on her own property which really made us feel comfortable and safe. The kids had a blast and even gave us some very natural looking smiles. What I love most is that Utami listened to what I had asked for – she focused on the kids and kept our shots looking very natural and fun. Utami, you have captured some of the most beautiful memories for us and I cant wait to display them all in our home – thank you!!

Continue reading

a richards update

Once again, it’s been a while since I last visited faithplusmom. A couple of months ago I really assessed whether this was something I wanted to carry on with… I asked friends on facebook, spoke to my family, gave it some thought and while the general consensus was that yes, I should do it, I really had to figure it out for myself. I had to realise why I wanted to blog and whether I was going to be upset if I couldn’t keep up with everything that hosting a ‘good blog’ entails. I had to come to the point where I am okay with ‘failing’ according to all of those standards that are put out there – or rather those that we interpret. I had to ask myself questions such as who am I trying to reach, what am I wanting to say and what is actually the purpose of putting the details of our life out there for all for you to read?

Continue reading

Disney On Ice – from an (ex) figure skater’s perspective

I have always been against paying (a substantial amount of money) for tickets to an ice-show. Because when you’re a figure skater, you know that its really all about the ‘show’. It’s costumes and lighting and sparkles and snow…everything a little girls dream is made of. Being Disney, means that its princesses too! It’s popcorn and slush puppie, character apparel and candy floss.

It’s all pretty grand for a four year old!! But when you’re a skater (or have been a skater) it’s a very different show to watch.

Continue reading

Keatynn Turns Two : A Puppy Party

Yes, you read that correctly. Our ‘baby’ is TWO! And we threw a small puppy themed party to celebrate.

The Theme:

By the time you get down to your 6th party, choosing another girly theme starts to become tricky. We’ve done Minnie Mouse, Owls, and Ballet, we’ve had a Pink party and we have even done Puppies before. Tailei’s first birthday was a Puppy Party and it was such a hit. But because we had already done it I was hesitant to choose this theme again. …and then I realised that actually, Keatynn is a different child who is really also allowed to love puppies. That she wasn’t around for Tai’s first birthday and that because their personalities are so different, their parties would be too.

Continue reading