I just got back from the most amazing trip to New Zealand! I can’t wait to tell you all about it but I’m so sick after 7 days of drinking and not sleeping so for now I’ll just leave you all with some pictures..
When I was going into studying abroad in Sydney, I was overwhelmed with excitement/nervousnesses/etc. I knew it was supposed to be one of the best times of my life, but I couldn’t help but worry about how I would handle being in a completely unfamiliar place. I had a few specific worries that I’ll admit… I was worried about working out (would I join a gym? how often would I workout).. I was worried about the food, obviously (would there be food similar to what I’m used to? would there be enough vegetarian/pescetarian options? Would I like the food? how would my kitchen be).. and I was worried about the drinking (I know I shouldn’t care..but I don’t like to drink more than a few times a week..but will I have to go out? Will I be able to keep up).
I am not ashamed to admit it because I know I am not alone in those worries.. and to be honest, I would have loved to read about someone who had been abroad while dealing with their eating disorder recovery and thoughts.
I can’t believe it has been almost 4 months that I’ve been in Australia… it has been such an experience and there have been plenty of challenges and victories along the way.
Even though I haven’t handled every situation the way I would have hoped, I have realized that the only reasonable way to survive abroad while worrying about things like food/exercise/drinking is to just stop. Stop worrying.
I know this is easier said than done, TRUST me. But to stop worrying means to just take it day by day. I know mindfulness has always been something that people have preached about, but it really is true. When you’re abroad, you should be open to trying new things and experiencing the culture… I mean can you imagine someone from Europe coming to New York for the first time and not trying New York Pizza? So the key is to try new things.. but don’t go overboard (and if you do, it’s ok but try to eat a little better the next day). Obviously sometimes you’ll go overboard (I definitely did) but I’ve also tried to eat in a way that will make my body feel good enough to want to do things while I”m here. Because let’s be honest..even though stuffing your face is fun sometimes, it never really makes you feel good.
And as for exercise- it’s actually a piece of cake. I’ve had many days in Sydney that I’ve spent the day walking around the city and realizing later how much exercise I actually got doing that. Being in a new place is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of walking– you not only get exercise, but you also get to explore. On days where I’m just too lazy… I either try and go to the gym in my apartment building, or I take the day off.
Drinking is a bit more complicated. I have realized that although drinking sometimes is fun, a lot of times I just don’t like doing it. I’ve gotten through the semester by listening to my body and only going out drinking when I am in the mood. I know for a lot of people, drinking and going out while abroad is a huge part of their experience, and of course for me it is too.. it just isn’t the most important part. I’m ok with the fact that I’m not someone who is going to go out 5 nights a week. I still do go out at least 2 times a week (4 max probably), but I know that is all I can handle. and honestly.. sometimes I’d rather just go to a cool bar and have a couple drinks wtih friends than go to some loud club that, to be honest, isn’t as fun when you’re not drunk.
Another thing I’ve learned is that if you are used to having a certain type of support (like therapy for me), then it is a good idea to try to continue that support abroad if possible. I made the mistake of assuming I wouldn’t need a therapist while I’ve been in Sydney and I think it would have made some things a lot easier if I would have had one.
so all in all.. going abroad with an eating disorder history if very possible, and in fact I’d 100% recommend it. But I do think it is hard.. it has been hard. But it has also been amazing. I’m not going to lie, I haven’t felt my best about myself while being here but I’ve tried my hardest to not let it effect me too much because in a month all of this will just be a memory, and I want it to be a good one.
Have any of you guys experienced living abroad? What did you learn from it?
after a LONG time of being lazy and unmotivated to blog, I really think I want to get into it again. I also think I might consider eventually changing the blog to private… so if anyone wants to be included in the privacy settings let me know! I think I just need your e-mail address but i’m not 100% sure.
I’m currently studying abroad in Australia and have had an amazing semester. I’ve learned a lot throughout the process and I’d love to share it on here. I also realized how much I missed this community- sometimes you just need a support system other than your closest friends and family and this is the perfect place to get it!
I hope to still post about food/fitness related things because I want this to motivate me to stay on the right track and I do feel good when i’m exercising regularly and eating well… BUT I’ve also realized that I just can’t stay sane when I’m trying to eat perfectly healthy. There is definitely a balance that needs to happen for me to feel my best and I’m still trying to figure that out.
Hope that there are still people out there who remember this blog.. I’m excited to try and get this baby going again
This is for whoever is still out there and interested in following me… I decided to create a tumblr because I feel that it is much more manageable for me. I am really busy and so although I really want to have a wordpress blog, tumblr is much easier and I know I will be more likely to update it! I might end up blogging here again some day, but for now this is what I’ve got…
Thanks guys, I love you all :)
I need to make more time for blogging because it really does do so much for me but I’ve been a busy little bee. I had to move out of my summer apartment (all by myself for that matter), spend the next 4 nights “homeless” (staying at my boyfriend’s place and a friend’s), go home for only a WEEK during which I took my baby sister to college (WTF), and then move into my sorority and start rush practice and rush… sooo yeah, clearly blogging had to take the back seat.
I’d like to use this post to reflect on this summer. When I started the summer, I had a few goals in mind. I wanted to regain a balance with my eating, meaning no bingeing, no restricting, and roughly following the meal plan that my nutritionist provided me with. I was hoping all of this would come fairly easily and the weight I had gained would come off. Unfortunately, I didn’t lose the weight I wanted to and the bingeing and restricting didn’t stop quickly like I had hoped it would. There was a point at the end of the summer where I felt defeated and to be honest, sort of pathetic. How could I have such trouble with something thatseems so simple.
[skip this next paragraph if you don’t care about my philosophy about what food should be hahah]
Really though! When you think about it, eating is a survival mechanism. Food is something that our society has turned into more of a pleasure or luxury than a survival mechanism. I wish we viewed eating as something that we need to do instead of something we love to do. That might sound stupid but life is full of soooo many things and sometimes I wish food was just something to eat so that we are able to have energy to go on with the rest of our day/lives. Obviously, that is what it does for us but the way we view food in general contributes to how complicated eating has become for many of us. Wow that was a confusing paragraph..*tharrry* (Gilly voice)
Sorry for that tangent… My point is that I did feel angry at myself for letting food become such a complicated issue for me. But to my surprise, I came to a realization at the end of the summer that I hadn’t completely failed those past few months, and that I actually made tremendous progress. No, I didn’t immediately stop bingeing/restricting and no I didn’t lose weight like I had hoped to. But I DID make huge progress in ways that I wasn’t able to see until now.
“Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience. “Victoria Holt.”
This summer, I did some serious thinking…. Ok fine, I always tend to overthink and analyze situations, but this summer I focused on getting to the core of why I was engaging in these behaviors and what was truly at the root of the problem. I was the girl who was convinced her eating disorder was only a result of physical desires but the reality is that there is SO much more to it than that. By finally admitting that to myself, I have been able to identify what situations tend to trigger behaviors and what I can do to prevent them.
Also, I decided to become a pescatarian. I am the last person to want a label, and I will never restrain myself from eating meat if I feel a strong desire to, but I’ve been toying with the idea for a while and realized I actually don’t like eating meat. I don’t like chicken or steak anymore and I always just feel wrong eating it for ethical reasons. I feel like becoming a pescatarian is perfectly healthy for me because I’m educated about nutrition. Also, it truly has nothing to do with my eating disorder. I know that eating meat is healthy and I don’t judge anyone else for doing so because I did for so long! Since making this decision, I have had a healthier approach to food than I’ve evr had. I’ve been able to look at food as nutrition that I NEED to have energy and look healthy and I’m more concerned with getting in the nutrients I need than eating the lowest amount of calories possible.
There were a good 2 weeks where I was doing SO well. I felt like it wastoo good to be true and I was practically waiting for a slip-up… and yes a slip-up happened as a result of long days because of rush. But the difference is, instead of beating myself up and freaking out, I am choosing to realize that I messed up when I was stressed, and now I’m going to go back to how I was before. It doesn’t seem impossible like it used to, and I don’t feel anxious about it.
Most importantly, I feel like I’m finally starting to figure out who I am. I believe a huge part of my eating disorder stemmed from being unsure of where I fit and who I am, but I’m finally starting to realize what I care about and what my passions are. It feels absolutely amazing. I will definitely be posting more about this soon…
So I hope you’ll stick with me as this crazy, unpredictable journey continues…. There are bound to be bumps in the road, but I know this time around that I am going to have some great things to write about, and hopefully some helpful posts for the people who happen to read this little blog of mine :)
I love you all so much!
If you have been following my blog from the beginning, you know that my ex-boyfriend, Gardner, used to be a huge part of my life. I haven’t really talked about our break-up on my blog out of respect of privacy for him and because I didn’t really see how it could be beneficial for me or anyone else… But now it has been over a year since we broke up, and I have learned so much about myself and relationships so I feel like it could really benefit some people to hear what I have to say about how to handle a break-up.
Gardner and I were together throughout huge transition periods in both of our lives. We went through a lot: a long-distance relationship (he’s a year older and went to school 1000 miles away), me being forced to switch high schools my senior year, my eating disorder, and more. Obviously this was a lot for a couple people our age to handle. I’m saying all this beause I want you all to understand how serious the relationship was and why I truly do think I have some perspective on how to get over a relationship. I didn’t handle the break-up perfectly whatsoever, but now, over a year later, I have a pretty good sense of what I did right and what I did wrong. I’ve come up with a few pointers that I think are really helpful. It is also something I want to share because I do think that my bingeing and ongoing eating disorder has had a lot to do with my inability to face my emotions, but now that I know that it is much easier to control the symptoms.
1. Don’t hide from your emotions. After any relationship ends, It Is completely normal (and HUMAN) to feel a huuuuge range of emotions (angry, sad, confused, lonely, hurt, I could really go on forever). The worst thing you can do is to avoid them… I can tell you that from experience. I tried SO hard to pretend like I didn’t care but it only ended up hurting me in the end. In reality, I felt best the few times that I did allow myself to be upset or angry.
2. Accept that it is over. Although there is always a chance that you will get back together, I think it is so important to treat a break-up like a break-up. Don’t spend your time wondering if you two iwll get back together or thinking of what you can do to change the situation. Instead, accept that there are obviously reasons that it ended and accept that you have to move on. If it is meant to be, I truly think it will be and I also believe the only way to truly know if you REALLY want to be with someone is to let yourself move on and see how life is without them for a while
3. Ask him (or her) as many questions as you need to. I personally know that I was so confused after the break-up. I had so many questions I felt needed to be answered and at first I avoided asking them because I thought it would show weakness. I changed my mind when my mom gave me great advice- she said, don’t kill yourself over not talking to him (or something like that). The truth of the matter is, after such a long relationship, I deserved to talk to him If I needed to. I’m not saying that you should bug your ex 24/7 after a break-up, but if you can’t get something off your mind, It Is perfectly ok to ask and talk to him as needed.
4. Cry. This kind of goes with the whole don’t be afraid of your emotions thing but I think one of the worst things to do after a break-up is not let yourself cry. Crying really can help you feel better (reminds me of a cheeeesy song I used to listen to when I was a little kid). I think it helps to give yourself time to be as emotional as you want, but then to move on with your day. Not in the sense that you are masking your emotions, but in the sense that you are able to fully be a part of your other activities (and be fun to be around for that matter) since you have already gotten out a lot your emotions.
5. Try new things and take advantage of the things you may not have done as much while in the relationship. I know that I was personally really excited to spend more time with my friends after the break-up. Take this time to get to know your friends better and maybe pick up some new or old hobby that you can spend your free time on. As amazing as relationships can be, there are also so many pluses to being single (especially when you’re young or in college!)
6. Learn to love yourself and love being with yourself. Admittedly, my relationship (and Gardner) was a safety net for me. I could always count on him to make me feel good about myself and although I am still so thankful to him for that, I now realize the importance of being able to feel good about myself on my own. Of course your significant other should make you feel good about yourself, but it shouldn’t be the main source of your confidence. I think it is so true when people say you can’t truly love someone unless you love yourself first.
7. Find people to confide in. It helps so much to talk about what you are going through. I am definitely not someone who likes to put my problems on other people, but you should be able to find a couple people to help support you through this. I can’t even tell you how much my friends helped me after Gardner and I broke up. Writing about it also really helps (even writing a letter to your ex that you never plan on sending can be a great release).
8. Go out. Staying home and moping will never help. Don’t force yourself to move on when you aren’t ready to, but do go out and meet people and spend time with your friends. It truly does help!
Honestly, break-ups are incredibly difficult and the only real remedy is time. But I honestly think that if you approach it in the right way, you can learn a lot about yourself and about relationships in general.
“After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul, and you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning and company doesn’t mean security, and you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises, and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes open, with the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child, and you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans. After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much. So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. And you learn that you really can endure… that you really are strong, and you really do have worth.”~Veronica A. Shoffstall
I can’t believe I haven’t posted for so long! I really thought I was ready to get back into the swing of things…but clearly I was not! I think the problem is that I put such an all-or-nothing label to blogging so if I don’t think I can do it on a regular basis, I’d rather not do it at all. Instead, I’m going to try to do it when I have time and not worry about when I’m going to have time to post next.
I truly do plan on posting very soon about how things are going in recovery/life/etc. but this post is just about a small new addition to my life.
And of course I do have a couple meals to show you…
That is a salad mess with sour cream, guac, salsa, turkey, arizona heat mustard & yogurt ranch dressing. The “chips” are simply a baked tortilla!! Super easy & really delicious.This was a delicious stir-fry- whole wheat rigatoni, garlic chicken sausage, olive oil, and veggies.
So not to get all zen on you guys (but I am), but I wanted to tell you all about something i’ve recently gotten into…
This summer I’m working as a research assistant in a psych lab that studies meditation and its effects on the brain. If you’re interested, you can check it out here. I’ve taken a class on relaxation which incorporated meditation too. Still, I’ve never really considered doing it on a regular basis. I didn’t think it was something that was important enough for me to do on a regular basis or make time for until this summer.
I have been having some trouble sleeping and I googled what I could do to fix my problem. One of the ideas was meditation and instead of ignoring it, I gave it a second thought. Since then, I’ve been doing it at least once a day. There are a lot of different types of meditation but the ones I’ve been doing are simple guided meditations I find on youtube or itunes for free. I’ve done loving kindness meditation and ones that are about building self-esteem.
The benefits of meditation are endless, but so far I can see a few ways that I have benefited. For one, it helps me relax so that I am able to sleep easier (which was my issue in the first place). Second, when I do it first thing in the morning it really helps me set my mood for the day and approach the day with a more positive attitude. Lastly, I have noticed that my dreams have been much more vivid since I’ve started meditating. I’m not sure if meditation is the cause of this, but it definitely seems like it could be.
It’s amazing that something like meditation can make such a difference. I tend to be a fairly anxious person so meditating can be a challenge but it has definitely made me more aware of my day-to-day stressors. It helps me relax.
Obviously, I’d highly recommend giving it a try :) It might seem stupid at first but after some practice (it takes time!!!) it really does great things!
Here are a few links for ya if you’re interested in trying :)
A little explanation about meditating
Til next time!