Side Notes: One Step Farther

I figure i haven’t done a Side Note in a while and there are lots of things to update you on in regards to my recovery, good things of course!

I’m happy to announce that i believe i have beat this thing to the extent that it doesn’t dictate more than five percent of my life anymore, on a daily basis. Why do i say five percent? I truly believe that no one recovers fully from an eating disorder and that it will always remain in the back of my head, but as an afterthought and not one to control my life.


I have been through some up and downs lately as i was uprooting my life to move to Palm Springs this spring and then suddenly taking a job in foreign country to do something I’ve never done before. But looking back on it all, if i had still been sick, i would not be in Peru right now. I would have been too afraid of the unknown for my body, too afraid of what and how much i would eat, how i would be able to eexercise, and so on and so forth. It would have been such a challenge that i would have chickened out. Yet here i am, one day and an eight hour bus ride away from living in the jungle for two months, where weather will be unpredictable, insects will want to bite the life out of me, showers will be rare, birds will be surrounding my every action, and everything will be, EXCITING and NEW. I can’t wait to get started.


How else do i know I’m in a better place mentally? Every way i think and make decisions now is different. For instance, over the past few days i have come down with a gnarly case of travelers “d”, if you get my drift. In the past, my sick and twisted mind would have taken advantage of the fact that my body was rejecting food, i could limit my calories and lose a few pounds. But not this time. I was cautious with what i ate, when i ate it and how much, but not in the sense of restricting. I was super worried about my health and how my body was going to fight this off. I may have lived off of bread and eggs for a few days, but with my options it was the best i could do to help out my insides and feel better. And as i started to feel better, i incorporated more to help build my bodies strength and make me feel better that i was truly helping myself. I know I’ve been feeling better too because i actually want chocolate again! Haha, because the times i say no to chocolate, you know there is something wrong!


I had a spur of the moment meeting with my counselor before i left and she was almost speechless and so proud of me for the decisions I had made over the past three months in regards to my life, well being and health. When i told her i up and quit my job because it was making me so sick and i wasn’t enjoying it, for a no paying job in a foreign country she was very impressed. She reminded me to look at this as showing how much i had grown and was more worried about me and what would make me happy. She reminded me that most people would have contemplated the decision for a long time, especially taking the money factor into account as a huge loss. But i was more worried about how my health was taking a huge hit, along with my happiness for just a job with money. I told her straight up that to me, the money isn’t worth it one bit, which was why it was so easy for me to decide to volunteer and not get paid this summer.

I think this strength to do what is best for me has come from recovering from my eating disorder, because otherwise the focus would be elsewhere.

So off to the jungle of the Amazon I go, the unknown is all that lies ahead, and I’m more than willing to embrace it!

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12 Responses to Side Notes: One Step Farther

  1. Joy says:

    I have two totally separate comments…
    1st congrats and good for you for taking care of yourself (body and soul)
    2nd I was just in Jamaica and a green hummingbird flew RIGHT in front of my face (like close!) and my first thought was of you! I was like Melissa would know what kind this is rather than me who was wow a green humming bird

  2. Sana says:

    I am so proud of you :)

  3. Kim says:

    I am so happy for you. :)

  4. Amy Lauren says:

    Super proud of you Melissa :). Good luck in the field in Peru too, I love reading about your birding adventures in your blog. As far as the side notes go, you’ve come such a long way in the past year or so I’ve been reading- I remember you worrying about the marathon and worrying about wearing jeans or belts or eating certain foods, and now to take such big risks like going to Peru- it really says a lot about your maturity and growth in the past year or two :).

  5. Sarah says:

    This is so great to hear. I think things will only get better from here, too, as being in Peru choosing intellectual interest and passion over money will be a near constant reminder that there’s so much life to be lived outside your head. I think 5% is a realistic figure for most people. I do personally believe in recovery, but don’t hold on to the dogmatic notion that recovered means 100% free of disordered thoughts. Even many people without ED histories would have a hard time meeting that!

  6. Gina says:

    Hooray and Congrats. Have fun in Peru and let yourself live in the moment!

  7. Juicingpedia says:

    What it would be like to go to Peru? Sounds amazing and that picture from the mountain side looking down on the city…WOW!

    I just read through your entire bio because I was referred to your blog through another website. Good job for being strong and healthy.

    I look forward to reading about your adventures and finding inspiration in them.

    Thanks again!

    ~Heidi (Juicing Blogger @ Juicingpedia)

  8. Biz says:

    Mel, so so proud of how far you have come! You should be so proud of yourself – I am proud of you!!

  9. Krista says:

    Sounds like you’re doing GREAT, Melissa!!!

  10. I’m so proud of you. Reading this makes my heart smile. :) Hope you’re enjoying every minute of your journey and can’t wait to catch up with you soon! Love you!

  11. Emily says:

    MISS YOU!!! Thinking of you every day!!!! Hope you’re having beyond the time of your life, and happy to hear how far you have come.

    Looking forward to hearing from you… Stay safe.

  12. Katie says:

    Melissa, this made me so happy to read! You are living your dream right now- and ED free, at that- and I find it all so inspiring. Sending you a huge, HUGE hug!

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