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There is something exciting about the New Year and new beginnings, fresh starts, and the chance to change. I am all about changes, but I tend to set goals for the year and not resolutions. When the word resolution is used it so matter a fact, but goals can be done over time and create less pressure. I am excited about what the New Year is going to bring. I have goals (like everyone else), but I also have the tools to get the year started right. Last year I was trying to heal from the murder of my roommate and like a psychology student would I looked into ways to self-help. Outside of counseling, I found some great tools that I will be using again this year. 1. Get a workbook, planner, journal, or something. Even if you do not use it consistently over the first year, you get better at it and slowly will use it more and more. I had a hard time with the workbook I chose because my dyslexia is affecting my handwriting. However, over the year I became less self-conscious about it and just went with it, and it was beyond beneficial. 2. Vision Board: This board can help put a focus on what you want to focus on for the year. I always pick a word for the year, and this year my word is Stability. I have not finished my vision board that will hang on the wall (my laptop broke so getting the pictures has been hard). However, I always do a digital one that goes on my phone, laptop, tablet, and other electronics. 3. Mindfulness: This skill is easier when its a new year, when you feel like you can start over. Being in the moment is something that is very hard for me, that is apart of anxiety, so this is something I have tried to focus on the last two years. 4. Self-care: I always try and include in the vision board something that is for me or a form of self-care. Last year it was bath bombs, and I got Pepper. These things were for my mental health. For the new year, I dyed my hair. It is hard as a parent to take some time for yourself and to start the year off doing something for yourself sets you up for a year of self-care. 5.…
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It is that time of year when we are getting ready to set goals and resolutions for the new year. One of my goals every year since Noah was born (so six years) has been to eat more. About two years ago it got to the point where my doctor was telling me she was not going to clear me to work until my caloric intake went up. Even then I would start to eat regularly and stop until this year. It is no secret that I have an eating disorder and while my eating is nowhere near what “normal” people eat I have eaten more this year than any other year in my life (outside of pregnancy). One of the things they have you do in graduate school is set goals. The tool that many teachers use to help students with this is a process called SMART. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. I decided to apply this to my eating and let me be honest the SMART system for setting goals has never worked for me, and it did not this time either. I have tried this system many times, and I write everything down, and it sounds nice, and then nothing happens.   Do not get me wrong SMART is an excellent tool many people have used it with great success. I am not one of those people, and I know if I feel this way others must too. Well in my last job I learned about a new way of doing things start smaller and do it for shorter periods of time. I call this the Action Plan there is a lot more done on the microscale (even more micro than the SMART goal setting) to build up to the big goals. My SMART goal setting: Specific I will increase my food intake by one meal a day Monday through Friday. Measurable I will eat at least two items and drink 8oz of fluids during my lunch break. Attainable Yes, I will plan to buy lunch items and pack a lunch each night before work. Relevant This will allow my body to learn to eat more than once a day, and that lunch is a normal part of the day. (Part of my larger goal to eat.) Time I will be eating lunch at least 4 times a week by the end of…
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If you have followed the blog, you have seen me talk about getting my eating together. I told my counselor about this and was diagnosed with an atypical eating disorder. No one was surprised to see this happen least of all me. It was still a bit of a reality check. Definition of an atypical eating disorder. An atypical eating disorder is defined as eating disorders that do not fall into the diagnostic criteria of more well-known eating disorders such as binge eating or anorexia. My eating disorder, unlike others, is not rooted in my self-esteem and self-worth, I do not spend countless hours worrying about what I am eating and how it will affect my weight.  In fact, I do not even own a scale, and I eat what I want. Back to the story. I do, however, not understand why I have to eat so much and I typically do not enjoy eating. When writing a research paper for my undergrad degree I found an article that focused on dopamine release in the brains of patients with anorexia. Since then I have always seen myself as not getting the same amount of dopamine as others, thus making it more difficult for me to do. (This is just how I feel.) The reason my counselor gave for my eating disorder was a mix of biological and adaptive. I grew up in poverty and food scarcity was real. I remember one living off of bagels for a few weeks (I have not eaten a bagel since). These moments of going without may have rewired my brain to survive with less. I am now in a place where I can eat consistently and I still have great difficulty. With that said, being diagnosed means that when I go to the doctor they are mindful of my weight loss. My doctor has been great and told me my goal a day should be two meals a day and snacks. How I eat varies depending on if I am working or not. I tend to eat breakfast and lunch when I stay home and breakfast and dinner when I work. I personally feel better when I can do breakfast and lunch, and I am currently working on eating better when I am at work. To give you a real look at my eating disorder I have kept a diary for a day on what I eat and the feelings I have associated with what I am eating.
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It is tough to find information on what it is like to live with an eating disorder. It is even harder to find information on what it is like to live with an atypical eating disorder. I found this somewhat shocking and a bit discouraging, eating disorders can come from so many different traumas and pressures, such as poverty, food scarcity, control, fear, abuse, mental illness, and the list goes on. So why is it so hard to find a post (recent post) about what it is like to live with the disorder. So I decided to write a post myself. History: As mentioned above eating disorders are rooted in different things, and research has even looked at dopamine and its effects on anorexia nervosa. To a degree my eating (or lack of) is rooted in biology, I can remember at a very young age not eating like my siblings. However, growing up with food scarcity made it worse. Not having food made it okay not to eat on regular basis and that became a very normal thing for me. What is an atypical eating disorder? An atypical eating disorder is any disorder that does not fall under the diagnostic criteria of the DSM 5 or ICD 10, but you have enough symptoms to have a disorder. So atypical eating disorders can vary significantly in how they look. In my case, I do not enjoy eating, I get why I have to do it, but I am fine going two or three days without eating. However, we all know that is a bad idea. I was not able to be diagnosed as having other forms of eating disorders because I do not starve myself to be thin, I do not lack self-esteem, and I don’t use food as a treatment or punishment. How was I diagnosed? I was formally diagnosed by both a counselor and doctor as having an eating disorder. I took a questionnaire online as requested by my counselor. After making it, I printed it out and shared the results with my counselor and doctor. In both cases, we talked about it and found ways for me to live with it. Eating day of someone with an atypical eating disorder. Waffles at 8:00 am. I did not pick this Noah did (more like he made it for himself and than decided it “taste weird.”) and I did not…
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Single Mom, What a Life (SMWAL) by Shakirah Iman - 1y ago

Women are the largest group of victims of sexual abuse but it is a problem with men as well. This is a topic that is very personal as I have been sexually abused in a relationship and as a child. In both cases, it has horrific effects on the victim, and in both cases the victim […]

The post Sexual Abuse appeared first on SINGLE MOM, WHAT A LIFE!.

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As someone who practices meditation and mindfulness, the thought is always there on how I can add this to Noah’s life. I made it 48 days straight meditating before missing a day, and after hitting 30+ days, I started tossing in some everyday mindfulness. I even have the children in my class practicing a short […]

The post Meditation and Mindfulness With Stop, Breathe & Think Kids appeared first on SINGLE MOM, WHAT A LIFE!.

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  We all know that being a single mom carries a lot of responsibility. As a single mom, you are meant to always be there for your little ones and to provide for the family. And as your little ones become older, they begin to require more of everything. Keeping everything in line, especially if […]

The post Budgeting Tips To Help Your Family Save Money appeared first on SINGLE MOM, WHAT A LIFE!.

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General Anxiety When I was first put on medication for my anxiety, something weird happened. The world got brighter, and I can remember on many occasions asking my sister and K if the clouds had always looked like that. I mean they looked unreal like cotton candy just in the sky, it was beautiful. My […]

The post Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Diagnosis appeared first on SINGLE MOM, WHAT A LIFE!.

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My goals for 2017 were realistic and mostly centered around me. In past years I had goals as a parent, blogger, and for myself. However, last year I called myself “focusing on me”, you will read below how well that went. So in this post, I will be giving all three areas for my goals […]

The post My Goals for 2018 appeared first on SINGLE MOM, WHAT A LIFE!.

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The last year has been trying, and I was thinking I was starting to get the hang of all the ups and downs, but that is not the case. When I started my master’s degree, I had this plan in my head on how I would balance everything, but then I was diagnosed with anxiety, […]

The post I Think I’ve Got it and it Falls Apart appeared first on SINGLE MOM, WHAT A LIFE!.

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