faith, freedom, food

cassie, compiled

cassie, compiled

faith, freedom, food

All blog posts

Why Recovering Eating Disorder Patients DO Need to Eat A LOT…

Why Recovering Eating Disorder Patients DO Need to Eat A LOT…

It is a common misconception that people with eating disorders hate food. The reality is quite the contrary. In most eating disorder sufferers, food is obsessed over, constantly thought about, and researched.In the depths of my disorder, I constantly baked and cooked high-fat, delicious dishes that I wouldn’t let my own tongue even nearly close to, but that I served with glee to those around me.

Edema and Joint Pain and Night Sweats, Oh My!: The Signs of True Physical Recovery No One Talks About

Edema and Joint Pain and Night Sweats, Oh My!: The Signs of True Physical Recovery No One Talks About

Cold all the time? I used to be known for it. Also for genuinely never sweating, never turning red when I worked out, and having dryer than dry skin, especially in the winter. Well, guess what? I typically sweat easily now (the underboob sweat I […]

Why NOW: Recovering from Anorexia “7 Years Later?”

Why NOW: Recovering from Anorexia “7 Years Later?”

Oh man.

Hi, Reader.

How are you?!

This post is a long time coming. But it is being written for the one who finds his or herself in the same position that I am about to outline here.

It’s a position I feel a heavy call to write about, share about, and, hopefully, encourage others while doing so.

And it is this:

I have not told the whole truth, many times, directly related to my eating disorders.

Let me reiterate: I have, many times after eating more than anorexia would have wanted me to, said that “I am doing Minnie Maud!! I am!” When really, I needed to say that in order to justify the immense guilt, shame, and disgust I felt for eating against “Ana’s” rules. Then, I would often go days without eating anything but chicken breast and spinach again.

I would eat “too much” again. Back to spinach. Back to “too much.” I thought this was Minnie Maud…. but deep down knew it wasn’t.

I told doctors, “I’m eating so much!”, because I would… sometimes. But then I wouldn’t eat for days. Not ONLY because of the eating disorder voice, but also because I would be very stuffed – because I hadn’t continued to eat normally, eat meals and snacks, eat to regain health and body fat and my period.

This severe cycle took place over two years ago now. It has been a long time since the habits and cyclical eating and obsession has been like this, praise God.

And while I now eat a more “balanced amount every day,” not hyper-thinking about that balance, but just “doing it,” I have never gone through a real and true period of Minnie Maud recovery. I have said I’ve done it… but I haven’t.

I believe my body is still in an energy deficit, am convinced that it’s still malnourished, and have been convicted for some time that ACTUALLY doing Minnie Maud would probably fix this.

I just didn’t think the time to start, kick into gear, and have my brain and hunger cues enlivened would be one month from my wedding, but here we are.

25 pounds above my lowest weight, and feeling that physically, mentally, and emotionally, I am having a more difficult time with this than I care to admit.

But here’s the thing: I know it’s a mental battle. I know it’s a battle against legalism and rules and rituals.

It’s dumb, because even though this number is 60 pounds less than my pre-anorexia weight, all my brain wants to think about– or, should I say, all the devil wants me to think about — is that it’s 25 pounds higher than the lowest.

I should be the lowest on my wedding day of all days, society, the disorder, and the devil scream. At least I know where this thought comes from now, have confidence that this isn’t really me speaking, but the devil.

It’s funny, because, just prior to discovering this weight gain, I had looked in the mirror and thought, Dang, I look good. Healthy. More vibrant.

But the number. Something inside of me haaated the freaking number.

There was a time that I numbingly jolted in disbelief at the thought of how LOW this number was… but, even still, it wasn’t low enough.

Nothing is for an anorexia.

So I’m using this space to choose vulnerability and to say that I am not fully okay mentally with these changes.

It’s a struggle and a battlefield in my mind, but I’m choosing to trust Jesus.

I am fearful and know that my fears seem fickle and small, but my word, how much more great do the blessings feel.

How incredible that I can be so fully honest with my incredible fiance, who pushes me onward and says that he knows the weight gain is good.

Who helps me to refocus on my goal this season: of gaining my period, health, and a normal relationship with food.

I wish I could say it was all easy. I wish I could align with so many of the blog posts and health guru articles and eating disorder bloggers who say that recovery, that being on the other side, is great.

Honestly, I have days where I don’t want it. Days in which the devil reminds me of the comfort that came with starvation and what felt like control.

But it is knowing this, knowing that these days occur and these moments in which hope feels bleak creep in that convince me of my dire need to be on guard, to be rooted in Truth, and to practice what I preach and believe.

An evil voice sees this photo and sees…. You look more like your old self than ever. Your fat, out-of-control self.

Another voice entirely sees this photo and sees… You look more like YOU than ever. Literally ever. You’re healthy, you’re putting “underweight” behind you, and you’re not overweight either. You should be thrilled! What’s more… you’re truly not defined but what you weigh or what you look like.

And JESUS says… My child, stop fixating on YOU, and fixate on me.

Oh Jesus, I know that is the way. I know that YOU are the way. Help me, complete me, and fix me. I love You entirely, and YOU are my identity. More of YOU, and less of me, Jesus.

Hypothalamic Amenorrhea Recovery… While Wedding Planning: An Update

Hypothalamic Amenorrhea Recovery… While Wedding Planning: An Update

Frustrated is my word of choice. I am overwhelmingly frustrated. I’ve read every blog post about hypothalamic amenorrhea. I’ve spent months eating as much as my insides could take without exploding and remaining sedentary. Then I’ve tried adding in light exercise, eating high high fat […]

A Bachelorette Party to Remember: Celebrating Almost-Marriage

A Bachelorette Party to Remember: Celebrating Almost-Marriage

I am marrying the love of my life in 33 days, and I have never been more excited or joyful in my life. My soon-to-be husband came home from Winnipeg – for the last time ever – last week, and we have literally been bright […]

Suffering for Righteousness: Learning to Speak about My Faith

Suffering for Righteousness: Learning to Speak about My Faith

Happy Monday, y’all!

Today’s post marks the first of a month-long Monday series I am starting called “Suffering for Righteousness.” I am starting with a light topic, and planning to delve deeper into the mystery of life with Christ – a life in which suffering is counted as joy.

I am a passionate person.
I always have been.
So, when the God of the universe revealed Himself to me as a Living God in Jesus Christ, who was eternal, who had died for sins so that we could actually live FREELY FOR HIM, my first instincts were to tell the whole world.

Forgetting that other people might not believe this, nor have any context, nor be in any position to hear it. Forgetting, at first, that I might be met with anger or hatred or downright denial.

Most of the conversations I have engaged in that have been prompted by others about my faith – which I am very open about – have been really wonderful and respectful, most importantly.

But, sometimes, especially when engaging with someone I am very close with, these conversations are NOT very respectful. My humanness and selfishness takes over.

“In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 PETER 3:15

This verse quieted my soul, and drew me to my Father. It reminded me that, even if the CONTENT I am speaking is Truth, and biblically sound, it is made FALSE if I am speaking it in opposition to this verse – without gentleness/respect.

Sometimes, my pride is mistaken for Jesus’ righteousness. Sometimes, my anguish in wanting others to know the eternal promises of Jesus that result in great joy and purpose where this empty, blink-of-an-eye world offers nothing eternal results in… anger. Tears. Emotion. Frustration.

Taking these human emotions to the cross is amongst the most difficult parts of my “self” to give to Him, because they are easily masked as “Christ-like” emotions.

Now, dear reader, if you are reading this and are not a Christian – aren’t these words such a good reminder in your mind, too? Essentially: KNOW what you believe and why you believe it, soundly. Be prepared to support your faith and beliefs – but always with gentleness and respect.

And, for me, in this way I am “revering Christ as Lord.”

A prayer for the passionate Jesus-follower, whose pride gets in the way of Christ’s gentleness:

Lord, I love You. I want to represent You, honour You, and glorify You in all of my words and actions. Holy Spirit, show me what that looks like, especially with those who do not know you, and who downright don’t believe in You. Remind me that You love them more than I ever could – incomprehensibly so. Remind me that Your timing is perfect, and mine is incredibly flawed! Jesus, more of You in me. Amen.

Share Your Deepest Failures, Be Met with… Compassion?

Share Your Deepest Failures, Be Met with… Compassion?

He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. Happy Monday! Does anyone else write stories in their minds? The place most conducive to “Story-Writing” in my thought-life is the cafe I work at, Smile Tiger. […]

“Feeling Fat”

“Feeling Fat”

“My mom made me do Zumba with her the other night because she was feeling fat and didn’t want to work out alone.” I was startled by how casually my 10-year-old hip hop student told me about her Zumba night with her mother. “You eat […]

Making a Long Distance Relationship”Work”

Making a Long Distance Relationship”Work”

Good Wednesday!

Today, Johnny and I are 80 days out from our “I Do’s,” and I could not possibly be more excited.

We are also just a few weeks shy of seeing each other again for his regional soccer tournament, and less than a month away from being done with long distance forever.

In case you’re new to the blog, this post provides insight and advice from both Johnny and I on our years of long distance.

I recently put out a question via my Instagram about what interests you most in reading on the blog. An overwhelming majority loved reading about my relationship with Johnny– and, specifically, how we have navigated long distance and “made it work.”

Here is the thing about long distance (since this will probably be my last ever post while I’m in the midst of it):

If you are dating a person worthy of your time, investment, and relationship with, long distance should not be a problem.

You should not have concerns about their loyalty, truthfulness, or intentions, and if you do, we are way beyond the issue of long distance. Unless those concerns come from past hurts that genuinely have nothing to do with the person you are seeing, you need to take some time to seriously consider/pray into your reasoning for relationship with this person.

If you are in love, aligned in morals and intentions, and open with each other, the sacrifice of long distance will not feel so much like a sacrifice, but rather a necessary, non-negotiable experience. If you are led to different places/paths at the same time before you are married, pray about it, and have confidence in your relationship, this distance should not be any object in your relationship.

Now, in saying this, I do not mean that the distance isn’t difficult. Painful. Emotional. Challenging. The hardest thing about it for Johnny and I has been simply MISSING each other, aching for each other, as we are truly best friends, and love being with each other very much.

So, naturally, the way we have “made it work” has been in much, much prayer and dialogue. In feeling confident and continuously led that we are better together than apart, and clinging to the knowledge that the distance was temporary. In focusing on all of the positive things that distance brought, like road trips, heightened excitement and anticipation when we got to reunite after long stretches of time, and the best communication possible. Like the opportunity to work through a challenging circumstance so early on in our relationship, in order to work together through tough decisions and emotions. And, ultimately, because our relationship is not about me, and because we love each other, we support each other, and pray into each other’s situations.

Again, because our relationship is not about me, I don’t fret about missed dates or anything that comes with having a next-door-boyfriend, but look with joy to all the things that Jesus is glorified through in our long distance, and all that we have learned together that will without a doubt help us in our marriage, and for the rest of our lives.

Tangibly, though, how do we “keep things alive?”

We communicate. We tell each other what is on our mind. Even the little things. But we also do not put much pressure on communication. We’re at a point in which we understand our balance of intentional, sacrificial effort/each other’s schedules. But, the reality is… we both WANT to be texting each other/talking to each other all of the time. We’re pretty darned in love, if you can’t tell.
We sacrifice. It’s easy to overlook Skyping as something that isn’t like a planned date, but once we’ve set one (we’re casual about it– we don’t have a certain number per week or anything, as we both like the spontaneity of it and respect our very different schedules), we stick to it. We look so forward to these. Yes, sometimes it’s hard not to just stare at each other in frustrated longing, but it’s just like hanging out for real, if you set your mind to it ;).
We ask forgiveness. We have run into issues. We have let each other down. We have each failed. But each of these times, as we’ve sought each other’s forgiveness, we’ve been able to see as opportunities to improve, through and for Jesus. Something Johnny does so well is ask forgiveness, intentionally, humbly, and genuinely, when he has done something wrong. I have learned so much about the importance of this through his example!

“You Look Healthy”

You look healthy. It tops the list of things NOT to say to a recovering/recovered/suffering person with an eating disorder. While, to most, this is a compliment; a good thing; the mental illness that is an eating disorder is a pro at twisting positive things […]