What I’ve Learned

18 Jul

I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.  ~Arthur Rubinstein

I’m in the mood for a positive post today.

Over the past couple years, I have reflected so much that I think I reflect in my sleep. I over-analyze EVERYTHING and I feel like I’m a hypersensitive person and overly aware of other people’s emotions and intentions. It drives me crazy sometimes (and my friends…) but I have to say that some of the reflection has really given me a new perspective on life.

I don’t necessarily believe that “everything happens for a reason” but I do believe that everything that happens can teach you something. My eating disorder is a pain in the ass… I’m not going to deny that. It has taken away a lot from me and changed me. But there are plenty of good things that came from it too. This post is about why i’m thankful for my eating disorder and what I’ve learned/how I’ve changed for the better from it. I don’t think this is something that people talk about often…. because let’s be honest, they are horrible. The thing is, I recognize that I have taken away good things from it and i’d love to share those with you.

1. I feel more compassionate for others. I used to make a lot of assumptions about people. I didn’t realize how judgmental I was about so many things, but I didn’t have the perspective to act otherwise. For example, I do think I judged people who are obese. I didn’t realize that obesity can be an actual disease and not necessarily a choice someone makes. After my eating disorder, I know how it feels to be judged and misunderstood, and I honestly think that I am a lot more understanding, sympathetic, and caring because of it. Sometimes I may be too compassionate to be honest – but I am really thankful I have gained this perspective.

2. I truly appreciate health. I didn’t have any real health issues before my eating disorder. When I was underweight, my hair thinned, my energy decreased, I had no emotions, my bloodwork was off, I was constantly cold, and I looked kind of sickly. Even though i’m not thrilled with how I look now, I know that I am healthy and I feel so lucky to be healthy. I am starting to realize that food is a wonderful thing– it makes you glow, it keeps you warm, it helps you grow, and it just does wonders for your body when you eat nutritiously.

3. I am knowledgeable about food and exercise. Sometimes all the knowledge I have gained about food and exercise drives me crazy, but I have to say that I am glad I am educated on these things because they are really important long-term. I have learned that nutrition and exercise are important, but aren’t meant to be abused. Finding that balance is hard, but my knowledge is going to help me reach that point. When I’m eating regularly (not starving or bingeing) I now truly crave healthy foods and that feels amazing.


4. I know when to ask for help. I used to be really against asking for help, but now that I realize how helpful therapy can be, I feel a lot more willing to reach out when I know things aren’t going right. I think so many people are too stubborn to seek out help, but it can make such a difference.

5. I have learned to take care of myself. Although this has taken a while and I am not 100% there yet, I’ve learned that sometimes you just have to put yourself first. I have always been so worried about what others think but living my life like that just isn’t fun. I realize that i’m my own person so I may have different needs from my friends… and that’s okay. I have started to try to listen to my self and my body and do things that I want to do. That may mean going out with my friends to drink and staying up til 4 am or it may mean staying in even when everyone else is going out.

So there ya have it 🙂 The things i’ve gained from my eating disorder.. and i’m sure there are more that i’m forgetting!

Question- Have you dealt with something difficult but feel like you’ve learned a lot from it? Have any advice you want to share? 🙂

’til next time!

Advertisements

My Complex Relationship with Exercise

7 Jul

Last night I went to whole foods in hopes of finding some Cinnamon Raisin Swirl pb&co Peanut Butter.. Unfortunately, they were out of it. But I always like to say everything happens for a reason.. and this time, I think the reason was so that I’d stumble across this baby

you guys, this stuff is legit. It is sooo soft & creamy and it tastes soo similar to strawberry ice cream, but with more of a yogurty taste which is amazing if you like frozen yogurt. Also doesn’t hurt that the nutritional facts are AMAZING

In love with this. They have a couple other fruit flavors but next time I’m def buying the original… this prob won’t last me long anyways haha.

My other food pictures aren’t the prettiest, but I’ll post them anywayssss

I treated myself to a kombucha– i love it so much. I threw together a salad with a chili lime chicken burger from trader joe’s (SOO GOOOD) and guacamole hummus (literally finished it in 3.5 days), mozzarella and annie’s lite honey mustard. Really filling/good meal

I made a quick tuna melt mixed with this amazing dip called Green Goddess Dip from whole foods and some mustard and muenster cheese.

this dip is soooooo so good.

this is a REALLY ugly but delicious breakfast- oat bran, greek yogurt (trader joe’s), cinnamon, banana, and BARNEY BUTTER (they had individual packets at whole foods.. another reason to love it).

EDIT– I am writing 20 minutes later and I realized I can order it on this madtownmunchies website to my apartment! I am ecstatic..and kind of creepily obsessed. hahah.

♥♥♥♥
I wanted to talk about my relationship with fitness. I got a couple questions about my workout regimen and it got me thinking about how I view working out and how it has changed for me over the years. I think I really am at the healthiest place i’ve ever been with exercise and I can’t tell you how good it feels.

When I was growing up, I actually loathed exercise. I played sports but I dreaded the conditioning and running that came along with it.

When I chose to begin exercising more to “lose a few pounds” I started to realize I was capable of being in good shape. I became addicted to how long or how fast I could run, and after a while nothing became good enough. I was miserable if I missed a day at the gym. Looking back is weird because it seems like so long ago now, when in reality this mentality ended somewhat recently. I didn’t want to admit I was obsessed with exercise and that it was unhealthy because I felt so “healthy” and I felt like I was on some higher level because I exercised so much (yeaahhh i’ll admit it!!).

When I realized I had to gain weight, I had to stop exercising. I thought this was the END of the world and I was sure I would balloon up instantly. This wasn’t the case whatsoever.. not. even. close. I gained weight very gradually, and at one point my eating disorder voice realized that if I wanted to restrict my food, I could probably lose weight again (of course I didn’t). This definitely helped me get over my exercise addiction because I realized that exercise didn’t have all this control over myself and my body.

At first incorporating exercise was weird and started to feel sort of addictive but now I am exercising longer than before…. but I am approaching it in a COMPLETELY different way. I no longer feel the compulsion to run if i’m tired and I don’t feel like I have to follow some strict and rigid schedule. If i’m busy on a day I planned to work out, I don’t feel anxious anymore. Exercise doesn’t dictate my schedule and my life (sounds dramatic but it was kind of a reality). I honestly feel like I finally have a healthy relationship with exercise (still workin on food..) and it feels AMAZING. I’ve already tried kickboxing, yoga & strength classes this summer and i’m loving finding variety in my workouts. I’ve also had some long walks with a little running with a friend and it was a great workout but it didn’t even feel like one.

Basically, exercise has been my best friend, my biggest enemy, and my abusive boyfriend. I think i’ve finally made peace with exercise and it feels soo good.

What is your relationship with exercise like?

Say Yes

5 Jul

Happy Fourth of July!!

(belated I guess)

First, thank you guys sooo much for all the support in response to my last post. I know so many of you can relate, and even if you can’t, your comments makes me feel so much better. I know that everything i’m going through will make me stronger, and I have already learned so much of myself in the past couple years as a result of my eating disorder.

My last post was really hard for me to write, but I felt so relieved that I did because it meant that I was saying yes to myself. I was saying yes to doing something that I knew would make happier.

 I’ve always been someone who has a really hard time saying yes to myself- I say yes to everyone else but for some reason, I have the hardest time doing things for myself.

summer, one of my main priorities is to start saying yes to the things I need, and no to the things I don’t. I’m sick of worrying so much about other people and not enough about myself. I’m always so concerned with my friends or other people, and how they feel or what they think, but I forget to sit back and think about how I feel.

So I guess i’m just trying ot say thatit’s ok to say yes to yourself!

Say yes to a healthy meal that you took some time to make.. [baked sweet potato rounds, chicken hotdog, broccoli & Trader Joe’s guacamole hummus..so good]

say yes  to a nap when you know you need some more sleep…

say yes to a night out with your friends

Say yes to ice cream when you want it! (or froyo.. both work for me haha).. cookies n cream from graeter’s is my fav or plain tart froyo

say yes to jello shots

I think you guys get it…

In this whole process of recovering from my eating disorder and figuring out who I really am [ya know, deep stuff like that], knowing when to say yes to is tricky. I’m working on figuring out what I want versus what I think I should do (does that make any sense?). I’m starting to get a little more in tune with myself, but it definitely isn’t easy.

Sometimes I want to go out with my friends and just let go of being “healthy” for a day, while other times I want nothing more than to curl up on my couch, watch a movie, workout, and relax all day… and i’m finally starting to understand that both are ok. There is never a “right” thing to do in these types of situations, and when it comes down to it I realize that ill be happiest if I listen to my body and do what I feel like doing. Make sense?

Anyways, i’m off to bed… last week of my summer class tomorrow.

love youuuu

To Be Honest….

30 Jun

Remember when I told you i’d be sharing with you thegood, the bad, the ugly? Well here goes some of that ‘ugly’ i’m referring to…

To start, I’ve been hesitant to blog because sharing struggles is always a lot more difficult than sharing the victories.

In my recent post What You’ve Missed, I gave you guys a small idea of what my reovery has been like, but I left it very open-ended. I have been particularly nervous to share my struggles now that I have told my friends at school about my blog, but I also realized that the struggles i’ve shared throughout my blog have been the most helpful posts to me in my recovery. Something about being completely raw and honest is so relieving and freeing.

Anyways, Last summer I remember I posted a couple times about binge /over-eating episodes followed by restrictions and my confusion about these behaviors. I wish I would have looked into them more, because instead of dealing with the reasons behind the binging, I decided to just assume it was a normal part of recovery and that it would stop. This led to an escalation of the behaviors which ultimately got me towhere I am now.

I’ve been so scared to introduce my new issues with eating because I feel like there is a stigma attached to overeating as opposed to undereating. Unfortunately, my reality has become overeating and i’ve decided today not to be ashamed of it any more. My overeating is a RESULT of my undereating and it is my eating disorder telling me that undereating is an ok behavior (and therefore appropriate to talk about) but overeating is not- the truth is, neither are ok but both are real problems that a lot of people deal with.

Realistically- it makes sense. I wouldn’t touch dessert or any food that isn’t “healthy” for that matter when I was restricting. I convinced myself that I didn’t like those foods, when the truth is I was terrified of touching them because I knew how delicious they would taste to me. I had trained myself to avoid them. When I first started allowing myself some exposure to these foods, I felt that I had no control. I was left wanting more, even if I had an adequate portion size. At the same time, my lifestyle at school doesn’t allow for much self control, especially when drinking/partying is in the picture. Bingeing became something I no longer could control/make up for through periods of restriction after and eventually, the weight started to pile on. Now, i’m at the highest weight i’ve ever been. I’m not overweight and I hope me saying this all doesn’t trigger anyone, but I know that my weight right now is not my natural weight. It isn’t the weight i’d be at if I was able to eat more intuitively.

I want to use my blog now to document my progress with bingeing. I’ve been SOOO hesitant to bring this up but I know that this is what I need to do to help me with my recovery again. I am starting to realize my behaviors have a lot more depth than the want to be thin and i’d love to share with you all my ideas on that. When I was gaining weight, blogging about my obstacles helped me so much and now I need to be true to myself and use this as a place for my recovery… even if it isn’t anorexia this time.

Since coming back to school, i’ve been doing SO MUCH BETTER. The binges have decreased a lot and even though i’ve had some slip-ups, I feel like i’m on the right track. the reason I needed a new meal plan was to keep me on track and to keep me eating enough throughout the day so I don’t binge. I’m struggling with eating the right amount on my meal plan in fear of a binge, when in reality under-eating is the cause of it.  I hope to use this as a place for someaccountability, hope, and support.  

I’m also going to share other random things because obviously these struggles are only a small portion of my everyday life 🙂

Like some of the delicious things i’ve been eating..

Birthday Brunch at Original House of Pancakes

turkey wrap with avocado and laughing cow

TJ’s chili lime chicken burger with a salad

salad with avocado, ranch, cheese, & turkey

Anyways, I just went to see Kung Fu Panda 2 with one of my best friends. It was amaaaaaaaazing!!!! Hopefully i’ll post tomorrow about it (i’m slightly obsessed with kung fu panda…. not gonna lie)

Questions

1) What’s your favorite dreamworks/pixar film?? mines obviously kung fu panda…

2) Have you ever dealt with overeating/binging? How do you control it?

LOVE YOUUUU

Wear Sunscreen

23 Jun

Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen

I love this youtube video. One of my friends showed it to me randomly a while ago and at first I laughed but after a while it really grew on me. It’s really simple but so true! Definitely worth watching 🙂

Be back with a longer post soon!

Easy Dinners

21 Jun

Thank you all so much for your comments on my last post. It means so much to me that after such a long hiatus I still have some amazing support!

This summer I’m living in an apartment for the first time. I’ve lived in a dorm and in a sorority, so this is my first time having the ability to cook for myself in a real kitchen. Even though my best friend/roommate laughs at me for some of my cooking skills (a little bit of a newbie), I think I’ve whipped up some yummy things. The thing is, sometimes I just want to make the easiest and quickest things meal possible when i’m feeilng tired/lazy..

I still am out of the habit of taking pictures, but here’s a couple super easy meals that I’ve made (not the prettiest pictures, I know).

Tortilla pizza!

to make this I took a whole wheat tortilla, stuck it into the oven at 425 for 2 minutes, spread on tomato sauce, feta cheese, & veggies, & then stuck it back in for about 7 minutes… & viola- delicious!

another easy go-to of mine…

Big Salad

this one had a bruschetta veggie burger, garlic hummus, yogurt ranch dressing, and a whole wheat tortilla. I like how you can make a million different kinds of salads.

& one more easy and DELICIOUSSS meal…

“Healthy” Fried Rice


I cooked the brown rice on the side first. Then I sautéed some garlic and onions, and added the rest of the veggies and shrimp in soy sauce, oil, & some seasoning. I also cooked an egg white and scrambled it in. Then I added the cooked rice and stirred it al together- super easy & super delicious!

Questions: What are some of your go-to easy and quick recipes? I need some ideas!!!

PS– one of my best friend Jamey just started a HILARIOUS blog, you guys have to check it out when you get the chance. Hint) if you like harry potter, fashion, politics, or cats you’ll prob like this blog…

here’s a picture from my weekend too!

PPS- we actually DIDN’T mean to all wear blue… hahaha & the girl (Jamey) in the black pants is the one whose blog I told you about!

What you’ve missed..

17 Jun

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.” – Babatunde Olatanji

That is pretty much the quote I’ve been trying to live by. I realized that I can’t change what I went through in the past, and I can’t really change or control my future, but I can be in control of what I do today.

I’m going try to actually stick to my word and start posting regularly. I did really miss blogging and it’s crazy how blogging in some ways keeps me accountable, and to be honest, happy. So as much as I love everyone who reads my blog, I decided to start again for myself.

There is so much to catch you guys up on and I am a little overwhelmed with where to start!! I’m going to break everything down a little so you get a sense of where I’ve been, where I’m at, and where I’m going 🙂

College

I had an AMAZING sophomore year. This year was the first time I’ve felt like a “normal” college student. Although I still definitely struggled with my eating disorder (I’ll fill you in on that in a bit), I went out with my friends, ate SO many fear foods, laughed a TON, and had some amazing experiences.

For example….

Obama came to Wisconsin.. and I shook his hand!!!

tossing pizza & laughing a lot on a night out….. The Dominos people obviously love me :-\

fun nights out with new friends!Great formal dates 🙂

Going to California to watch Wisconsin play in the Rosebowl!!!! (so what if we lost….)

Punta Cana for spring break with all my best friends!!!!

Humo (if you read last year..hard to explain) with my sorority and another frat!! so fun.

So basically, I’ve been actually living. Of course there were not so happy times but overall I am so thankful for all the amazing things I did this year.

Recovery

Whoever said that the hardest part of recovery comes when you’re weight restored is completely, 100% right. Physically, I appear to be completely healthy and normal. But mentally, as much as I want to think I am, I’m not. Body image is the biggest struggle for me. Worst of all, I’ve dealt with some over-eating and uncontrolled eating as a result of my loooooong period of restriction. At a certain point I wanted to give up, but now I realize that if I want to feel good and happy, I need to take care of myself. I need to do what makes me happy and eating well and regularly exercising (but not in a manner that makes me exhausted) makes me happy (along with being social with my friends of course (the most important!!!)). Even though I want to act carefree and like most of my friends, I’m finally starting to accept that I’m just not exactly the same and I’m fine with it! I can still go out and be with everyone, I just need to make sure I’m taking care of myself. I’m finally feeling hopeful and in control and I realize that in order to be truly recovered, I need to get into a healthy eating pattern. I saw a nutritionist to get a meal plan again and I’ve been trying my best to follow it! It can be hard but it is what I need so that food is no longer something stressful or a source of guilt. Food is GOOD and we need food so I want to enjoy it and not see it as the enemy anymore. I’ve also accepted that my eating disorder is about more than food, and that realization has helped me figure out what I really need to do to let go of it and what exactly causes me to act out disordered behaviors.

Summer

This summer I’m staying in MADISON!!!! I go to school here but  from Ohio so this is my first time on my own in the summer. I’m subletting an apartment, taking a 3 week class, and working as an undergraduate research assistant in a psych lab (I’m a psych major). So far the experience has been amazing and I love living in an apartment with my best friends. I also can cook which is a HUUUGE plus, so hopefully I’ll have some fun/easy/cheap meals to show you guys!

Here’s a little preview of a “healthy” shrimp fried rice recipe!!

What I want from my blog

I want to show people how to live a balanced life in college! I go out and can be completely crazy but I am also health-conscious and that is completely ok. It is starting to work for me now that i’ve accepted that it is the way I am. My main priority is finally taking care of myself and I’m trying to stop worrying so much about everyone else’s opinion. I also am on a budget so I hope to show you all how to make some cheap & easy meals in college! Basically, I want to share my experiences, struggles, and advice and I hope you’ll all follow along 🙂

Thank you all so much for your comments & e-mails! It honestly means the world to me.

QUESTIONS-

1) Is there anything specific you want to see on my blog that you either liked before or haven’t seen yet?

Until next time!!