faith, freedom, food

Tag: #believe

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 […]

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 contents without restricting other food groups.

Here is what I ate yesterday (As much as I remember, any way):

Whole goat’s milk yogurt with oatmeal, berries, and peanut butter

Fried eggs with white toast, hash browns, and bacon

Spicy Turkey sausages with rice and oily tomato sauce

Tons of crackers & bread with goat cheese, peanut butter, and jam

More oatmeal with brown sugar, full fat goat yogurt, peanut butter, and berries

Dairy-free chocolate ice cream with cherries and peanut butter

Today, I am stuffed. Painfully stuffed. TMI, but even the thought of food makes me want to barf.

I eat as much as I can and am hungry for one day, and suffer painful and debilitating consequences the next. I’m told I need to “eat more and exercise less,” and I am truly doing that to the best of my ability. But it constantly feels as if people don’t believe me, or think I’m not well.

I’ve experienced the extreme hunger noted by specialists, but also extreme fullness. I experience horrible digestion problems pretty much whenever I eat processed foods. And I truly believe that the more I eat these things, the better my body will be able to process them, but, if I’m honest, I’m frustrated with this physical recovery process. I’m frustrated with not having proper hormonal function, with feeling unwell, and with feeling as though my doctors don’t believe me. That I’m trying.

Speaking about my eating disorder recovery story to a group of youth last year.

The number of times that I have been *certain* I’d gained weight, only to have lost half a pound or something on the doctor’s scale… it’s discouraging. It’s hard to know how to go about recovery.

And, to be honest… it’s even harder in the midst of planning for my wedding, especially when my dress has gotten tighter and tighter with each fitting.

The world says your dress should be getting “looser.” The message to brides is to take up less space, to lose pounds, and to look thin. And when you’re like me, and your most consuming battle in life was years spent in a restrictive eating disorder… these messages can easily be triggers.

But rather than allowing them to permeate me, I have focused on some key things that have shifted my thinking:

  1. What do I want my relationship with food to look like as a full time writer, wife, and, one day, mother?
  2. What do I want my relationship with food to look like at my bridal shower, bachelorette party, and wedding?
  3. What do I want to be consumed with leading up to my wedding – and for the rest of my life?

Here’s the thing: I weigh more than I have in months and months, and there were voices that told me I just couldn’t let that happen.

But it’s happened… and I’m okay with it. I’m really okay with it.

I’m finally realizing that my body wasn’t meant to be underweight – that this probably makes sense, too, haha. That in order to have a child one day, my body has been screaming at my slightly messed up mind for some time now that, hey, can you help me out a bit with some stability in order to maybe house a human being one day?

I’d heard all the things eating disorder patients hear:

-Your body wasn’t meant to be this low weight

-You need to eat and eat and eat. You will not get fat. You will heal.

-You will feel out of control for a bit. But it will become normal.

And I have to tell you, friend-who-is-reading-this who is where I once was, and doesn’t believe it either:

It is all TRUE.

It is wonderful to eat without measuring and counting. But it took YEARS, literally years for me, in order for it to be wonderful.

Triggers have made it un-wonderful again at times. But, overall, the not-being-consumed by food thoughts has been magical. Worth it BECAUSE I’m convinced of the truth of it. Fully and completely convinced by the Word of God that the food rules were not in alignment with how He calls me to live.

My knowledge about nutrition is most definitely a God-given tool, accompanied by a lot of Truth. But if that knowledge is seen as THE ULTIMATE TRUTH, it isn’t Truth anymore, because it is accompanied by untruths.

Here is what I mean.

My nutrition knowledge says that refined sugar isn’t healthful. This knowledge has equipped me to be in tune with my body’s cravings for natural sugars, healthful sugars, ie. fruit, etc.

My Biblical knowledge says that I am free from rules, including ones of abstaining from foods. It also says that I am called to eat what I am served, focusing on the people and the conversation rather than the food itself. And so, if someone goes out of their way to make a delicious dessert, or buys me dairy-free ice cream, you bet I’m going to eat it if I want it (which – I usually do).

THIS is the place I want you to get, my friend. But if you are in the trenches of restriction, know this, too –

Your hunger signals are out of whack. They simply are. You WILL NEED to eat more than your friends and family, than you perceive to be “normal,” in order to repair the damage. It is just the way it goes.

I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as bingeing in amenorrhea or anorexia or restrictive eating disorder recovery.

Believing this doesn’t mean that allowing my extreme hunger to actually run its course was always easy. It was not. I fought it for years. But allowing it to operate is the SWEETEST thing. You WILL stop feeling afraid all of the time. You WILL begin to feel “normal” once again. You just have to keep going.

Another HUGE lie that I have had to bring to the light was this: (I see you, Friend):

As long as your BMI isn’t any higher than 18.5, you’re okay.

Well, guess what?

I don’t get my period at BMI 18.5. Which means that, for MY body, that is underweight.

There are women who get a regular period at this BMI, because that is how their body was made. Their bone structures are probably much smaller than mine. But I have wide hips and a naturally larger frame that requires more weight. And – I could cry – I am FINALLY okay with this. Happy about it, even. Excited to see where my natural body wants to land.

It takes speaking these things that you’re so afraid to speak, for fear of shame or embarrassment or even being made to believe differently, in order to see the Truth. Each time I’ve spoken what the devil has tried to keep me from speaking, I have been nothing but amazed by the results produced.

So, Friend:

What lies are you believing that you are called to bring to the light?

“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 […]

A Sermon That Utterly Changed Me

A Sermon That Utterly Changed Me

This met me in my brokenness, in my deepest questioning, and in confusion, with hard Truth that I needed to hear. Take the time to sit with this and listen. Take notes. Let God speak to you through it. I promise it will be a […]

Alexa, Play “Yellow” by Coldplay

Alexa, Play “Yellow” by Coldplay

Looking back, it was one of those mornings in which I debated my outfit.

Dress up or dress down? Was the work I had to do today conducive to feeling put together and stylish, or did comfort trump all?

Yes, for some reason, I think about these things.

I settled on a yellow floral dress– not like I can wear it for much longer– and long cardigan before heading out the door and to the office in downtown Kitchener.

Working at Him & Her the past month or so has been one of the greatest joys in this season. The encouragement of my colleagues and superiors, the diverse array of projects I get to work on and witness, and the opportunity to grow as a writer while providing meaningful service have been unmatched.

For the first few hours of work this morning, it seemed someone was always moving. Standing from their desk for a meeting or a call or to grab a coffee, so that there was no one time in which the three of us who sit in a row were seated together simultaneously.

Until that moment that we were… and we collectively realized this:

Name ideas included Three Turmeric Mice, The Yellow Squad, and Team Yellow. I simply suggested that we had each planned in our hearts to bring sunshine to the gloomy Monday at Him & Her.

And this conclusion, as cheesy as you may call it, served as an incredible reminder for me. A reminder that supplemented my pastor’s message yesterday at church, which was about power and authority being God’s, and therefore being GOOD.

In Christ, I have the power to view any and every situation as one that He can be glorified in.


Even on a rainy Monday, I will not complain.

I’m not usually one to struggle with complaining. In fact, seeing the positives in bleak-looking situations is a gift I believe God has empowered me for. But I have been very convicted just the past couple of days in the attitude I have had since moving back in with my parents.

We’ve heard it before: moving back home after living on your own for a season is tough. You’re used to complete independence and, if you’re like me, grocery shopping and was a favourite part of the week that you no longer have to partake in.

So, as much as it’s a difficult transition, it’s also one to be very ungrateful in.

I think a lot about how crazy it is that we are usually our worst selves with our family. This is a good thing in some ways, I suppose, in that it shows our level of comfort and knowledge that we are unconditionally loved when we’re with our families. My parents have often said that they want me to know I can tell them ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, and the answer will never be judgemental, and will always be loving.

But… I think this can easily turn into a similar dangerous mindset we might have about our Heavenly Father.


He’s already victorious over sin, and He’s all-forgiving. I know that if I sin in this way, and repent later, He’ll forgive me… so, I’ll just (*insert secret-sin here*) one more time.

Today’s bright yellow colours and sunshiney laughter with my co-workers served as a reminder that the grace I am saved by is one that empowers me to see even the toughest situations with nothing but excited expectation, joy, and hope.

It’s not that living at home has been a drag– just an adjustment. Which gives me no right to take advantage, or be grumbling, or have ungratefulness in my heart or actions.

So, an open letter to my wonderful mom and dad: I am sorry if you have felt any of this. You love me so well, and with open arms. I hope you know how sincerely grateful I am that you care to have me near you.

What situation could you use The Yellow Squad to remind you to be a bit more grateful in?

Me At 10 Years vs. Me in 10 Years

Me At 10 Years vs. Me in 10 Years

A couple weeks ago, I came across an exercise online that someone had shared had really shifted their thinking. The person relented that they wanted to know what their 10-year-old self, AND their self IN 10 years, would think of the way their present self […]

The Winter Blues

The Winter Blues

Does winter get anyone else down in the dumps?I’m not trying to blame my attitude on the cold, because I know that owning my attitude is always my responsibility. But man… I really, really hate the cold.  It is one sensation I can think of […]

What Is Exhaustion Without Purpose?

What Is Exhaustion Without Purpose?

All I can think about right now is hitting my pillow.
I hate sounding dramatic, but my eyelids are so heavy and my whole body is exhausted from not stopping all day.
And that could easily be for nothing.
I could easily work this body hard and fast for a single purpose: my own feelings of worth, productivity, to boost my ego, “because I’m good at it or enjoy it,” to “make a living.” But, why? Why live to “make a living?” Surely I was put on this earth for more than to be put on this earth.

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. MATTHEW 20:28

A pastor I very much look up to and respect preached a sermon on this very verse yesterday that God used to convict and challenge and change me. Jesus might call me to a remote part of the world to be in the depths of danger with starving children and my calling and purpose would be to say “it is well with my soul” and obey. He might call me away from all comforts and pleasures, the “things of this world” that I think bring me joy and say, “These things are NOTHNG,” showing me that glimpse of Heaven, and OH, how good that would be. JESUS I JUST WANT TO KNOW YOU MORE.
Don’t allow me to live this life selfishly, Jesus. Don’t allow me to think about when it’s my turn to eat, or my turn to “shine,” or anything of myself or “my” success. Jesus I just want Your name glorified in my life, and I know that that looks like servanthood. Less Cassie and more You, I pray Jesus, every day.
This doesn’t look like burnout, and it doesn’t look like the striving I often find myself wound up in again. It looks like submitting, it looks like letting go, and it looks like listening. It looks like joy, and unabashed consideration for every soul I encounter. I can’t be perfect in this, so I might as well give Him the steering wheel. It’s all I was created to do.

When Will I Learn?

When Will I Learn?

…that life is all about the “little moments?” Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.” I have written about it countless times. And I think about it all the time. But sometimes, in the heat of a moment, it doesn’t […]