faith, freedom, food

Tag: #edrecovery

“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 […]

Childhood Chicken Fried Rice

Childhood Chicken Fried Rice

Raise your hand if you were a picky eater as a kid. (I’m raising my hand). I was the PICKIEST of the picky. I could count the number of foods I was happy eating on both hands (well, both hands if you’ll allow me to […]

Stephanie Buttermore’s “All In” Journey: Why I am a Huge Fan of the Fitness YouTuber Eating 5000+ Calories per Day

Stephanie Buttermore’s “All In” Journey: Why I am a Huge Fan of the Fitness YouTuber Eating 5000+ Calories per Day

I knew I was a fan of Stephanie Buttermore the first time I ever watched one of her videos. Not only was it clear that she was a kind person, but it was clear that she was an all in kind of person.

I have a massive appreciation for the art of video editing, and Stephanie takes this to another level. Each one of her videos is crafted in such an accessible, viewer-friendly manner, and her speaking voice has such a pleasing ring to it. She doesn’t have hundreds of videos as many fitness YouTubers of her career length do, but it’s because each and every video is crafted with such intense excellence. All-in excellence.

Stephanie demonstrates this all in attitude in each one of her workout routines too. She doesn’t go half-in on anything she does– or at least, anything she puts out within her business. Her mindset is reflected in everything from her beautiful merchandise to her truly informative videos, ones I always learn a lot from in a concise manner.

So, when Stephanie announced that she was going “All In,” which for her meant eating about 5000 calories every single day (not counting them or measuring food or anything, but eating this amount because it’s been what she’s been hungry for), I wasn’t surprised, but was incredibly excited.

Stephanie explains the reasons behind her “All In” Journey more succinctly than I could, but, essentially, the diets and methods of eating that had previously consumed her way of eating have put her body in an energy deficit that has caused severe mental, physical, and emotional hunger. It also caused her to lose her period.

While it is easy for a person in this situation to believe that most of the hunger they feel is mental or emotional, leading them to believe that they should not consume food to the point of full satiety due to fear of weight gain, research proves that the physical hunger is likely the reason for the mental and emotional hunger in patients who have lost their period, or restricted food for long periods of time. Even if the person didn’t have an eating disorder, or wasn’t eating a “crazily” low amount of calories, but still actively restricted certain food groups, labelled certain foods as “off-limits,” or forced themselves to stop eating before full satiety, an energy deficit is present. The physical repercussions are very dangerous.

Stephanie is very popular on YouTube for her “Cheat Day” videos, in which she eats “everything she wants” in a day, which usually ends up amounting to something around 10,000 calories. She always emphasizes that she never eats past the point of discomfort– but, for most people with average appetites, this amount of food would likely be past that point. This is just one sign pointing to Stephanie’s energy deficit.

From Stephanie’s Instagram
And quotes from her boyfriend, also a fitness expert

Steph’s recent “All In” recap video has seen over one million views, and gained a lot of interest in the media.

Now, here is why I love what Stephanie is doing.

She has not let her former platform sway her from doing what she believes is right (even when it’s hard). Going from bikini-competitor leanness to gaining 30 plus pounds in a couple months in front of a large following could not have been easy, but Steph didn’t let that stop her from doing what she knew was right. In fact, showcasing this change, including ups and downs with body image and her mood, has been something she hasn’t shied away from. All that she has shared as been real and raw, and I have seen countless followers take insight from her story. She has helped people in the trenches of anorexia find motivation to recover. She has given people who have yo-yo dieted for years a vocabulary for understanding their hunger. She has put her health and wellness– mental and physical– above her aesthetic.

She has not positioned herself in any “niche”– she’s just a relatable human with incredible credentials. Boasting a B.A., M.S., and Ph.D., in medical sciences, biology, and more, Stephanie went from being a unique member of the fitness community as a passionate foodie, to simply going on the journey that was right for her in this time– and sharing it for the benefit of many. She isn’t in the “recovering from an eating disorder” niche, necessarily, which only makes her content more accessible, and might help someone in a similar position recognize that, just because they’re not dealing with an eating disorder doesn’t mean they don’t need to go “all in” simply because of restriction or dieting, two things society has convinced us are “normal.” Or maybe, like Steph, they’ve never fully recovered from an eating disorder, or given it the “all in” attitude it deserves.

She is eliminating the “cheat day” mindset, making a statement about the reality of our society’s skewed relationships with food. Many people in the fitness industry promote food restriction coupled with massive “cheat days.” Others promote fad diets, obsessive macro counting, labelling foods, etc. But, here is my question (and the common question of another of my favourite YouTubers): was obesity a thing before the billion-dollar weight loss industry was?

We all have naturally different appetites based on genetics, activity level, hormones, etc., and simply living according to these (not obsessively “intuitively eating” according to the trend of it, but just eating, a concept that is difficult to understand for many who have been rewired by the weight loss industry for years) is, wow, the best possible key to our health. It doesn’t make a weight loss guru any money, though.

I have worked in “healthy food” environments selling great products and with great menus with employees who, without even thinking about it, would write “Cheat Day Choices” on top of our baked good selections. Whether we realized it or not, much of our culture has been influenced into thinking that this is normal.

I underwent an incredible journey to healing in which I radically discovered just how amazing my body and mind are at knowing what they want and need. I also went through an “all in” journey in which I was eating at least 3000 calories a day just to feel somewhat satisfied.

If you relate to any of this content, or have any questions, feel free to reach out to me as a friend or helping hand.

Has “diet culture” influenced you in any way? Has this article debunked any of that for you? Let me know in the comments below.

5 Tangible Tips to Avoid Procrastination

5 Tangible Tips to Avoid Procrastination

The Procrastination Station.We’ve all been there. Itching to write, but finding our thumbs scrolling instead, our minds numb rather than busy. Staring at the mountain of laundry begging to be folded in order to free up the bedroom to look like something from a Pinterest […]

The Writing Bug

The Writing Bug

I have an unwavering, overwhelming, constant need to write. I’ve had it since before I can remember. When I was in fourth grade, my teacher entered a paper I wrote in a writing contest that I ended up winning. From that point forward, I was […]

Our Proposal Story (+How We Met Three Years Ago)

Our Proposal Story (+How We Met Three Years Ago)

I had just told myself university would not be the time for a boy.

But God knew differently.

I noticed Johnny Fulford the moment I sat down in my Tuesday afternoon “Public Faith and Theology” class. He was smilely, shy-looking, and downright handsome. When the professor asked us students to share our names, and a little bit about ourselves, I knew his name, “Johnny,” would stick in my mind.

Every Tuesday afternoon that first semester of my freshman year in university, I was encouraged and excited by what Johnny had to say on the topic of Christianity, much of which related to God’s almighty power and sufficient grace. In a place fraught with haughty opinions and lacking semblance of truth, Johnny only spoke when absolutely necessary, and without drawing attention to himself… except for, perhaps, my attention.

I also caught him nodding along with some of the points I would bring up, while I tried not to care. After all, I didn’t want to get caught up in a boy.

But God had other plans.

I always hoped Johnny might talk to me after class. Instead, when we had a field trip to Queen’s Park in Toronto, and I asked a classmate who would be driving there if we could carpool, I saw Johnny approach the same classmate to ask for a ride a few minutes after I did.


And the car ride was the beginning I’ll never forget.

Johnny and I must have spent more time getting to know each other than I realized, because, when we got to Queen’s Park, a fellow classmate who had also been in the car asked me, “So, are you and Johnny a thing?”

At Queen’s Park, we watched a political debate, and then had the opportunity to ask the politicians questions about their faith. I remember Johnny asking questions that didn’t spark my curiousity about Johnny, but drew me to prayer and to seek God’s will. I wasn’t distracted by him, but pressed forward to focus on God’s heart for these politicians, and our classmates.

It is for that reason that, when Johnny asked me if he could take me for coffee after the field trip, I didn’t say, “I’m actually not dating right now,” I said, “Yes.”

I would later learn that Johnny had also recently wondered if he was called to be single all his life. He had also recently turned down a few other potential relationships. And he had also felt drawn to the way Jesus was working in me.

The coffee date led to more dates. The couple months before Johnny asked me to be his girlfriend were spent awing in Jesus Christ and not in each other. And that is why I love Johnny second. Jesus Himself has called us to, and built up, the foundation on which our relationship stands.

Flash forward three years. Johnny and I are both almost done university… but in different provinces.

When Johnny and I met, he already knew that the school we both attended in Waterloo, ON was not his forever school. Ten months into our relationship, he transferred to Providence University in Otterburne, MB, as it is a Christian university where he could play varsity soccer in the States.

So, much of our relationship has been long distance, though we see each other four months of the summer, over Christmas, and have surprise visited each other, too.

This December 14th, 2018, Johnny returned home from Winnipeg for Christmas, and we reunited emotionally and excitably as always. Johnny’s birthday was the following day, and his sister-in-law had texted me a few days before, having bought us tickets to the Toronto Symphony, and recommending a dinner spot as a birthday gift to Johnny for both of us.

That next day, I was so focused on making Johnny’s 23rd birthday special. After giving him his birthday gift, which included 23 photos of us with 23 things I love about him, Johnny suggested we dress up fancy for the symphony.

We drove to Toronto, talking endlessly, and were so pleasantly surprised by the beautiful atmosphere of the dinner spot that Johnny’s sister-in-law recommended, Bar Reyna. We enjoyed delicious food in one of my favourite settings of all times, and each other’s company, before deciding to walk half an hour to the symphony rather than drive over.

Being pretty clueless with directions, I didn’t realize we were passing Queen’s Park until we were standing right outside it. “Wow, is this Parliament?” I asked. There wasn’t a soul around, and it was dark outside, lit only by tinselly Christmas lights adorning the trees. “Yeah,” Johnny smiled. “I’m surprised you only just noticed.”

I immediately started reminiscing on that field trip three years ago. “I knew I was drawn to you, not because of who you were, but because of who Jesus was in you,” I said. “I knew I believed in Him the same way you did. I just had never before had the vocabulary for it.”

Johnny and I were both tearing up. I was silently praising and thanking God.

And it wasn’t until he stopped me, right out front of Queen’s Park, that I had a single CLUE that he was about to ask me a very important question. “I have a confession,” he said.

My heart went into my throat in excitement, emotion, and joy.

“Sarah didn’t plan this day, I did. All to bring you here, where we first met. To have the hopes of having the best birthday gift in the world.”

The rest of what he said was a blur. I was in the midst of the greatest surprise of my life.

When he got down on one knee and said, “Cassandra Andrea Wolfe, will you be my wife?” I nodded vehemently before pulling him up and kissing him.

Finally, Johnny pointed to the bushes far off, where my sister, Krystal, was taking photos. Johnny had paid for her trip down to capture the moment.

Interpreting the Bible: Have You Ever Wondered…

Interpreting the Bible: Have You Ever Wondered…

This semester, I have been fortunate enough to take Biblical Greek with one of the greatest professors I have ever had.  The following is part of my final assignment for this class, and I wanted to share it here, because I am truly blown away […]

A Letter to My Best Friend on Her 21st Birthday

Dear Maddie, You’ve heard it before. But when I met you, literally from the moment I saw you, I remember thinking, consciously, “I want to be that girl’s friend.” Little did I know, less than a week later, I would share more of my soul […]

One Major vs. Two: Is a Double Major the Way To Go?

One Major vs. Two: Is a Double Major the Way To Go?

Today’s post is all about double majoring.
Why did I decide to complete my undergrad as a double Major? What are the pros and cons of this? Who I recommend it to?
My application story:
I cannot recall ever being stressed about post-secondary, having doubts, or thinking twice. Looking back, I truly see this as a gift from God.
I declared in middle school that I was going to go to Wilfrid Laurier University for Christian Studies, for a couple main reasons: I was under (wrong) the impression that this was one of the only programs in Canada for Christian pastoralship, which I believed to be my calling since the age of nine, and my opa, one of biggest inspirations, was once the dean of the seminary at Laurier. I saw myself following in footsteps.
Throughout high school, while colleagues stressed about where they were applying, what schools might accept them, and how many different programs they should apply for, I… just wasn’t stressing. And in Grade 12, when it came time to apply, I applied solely to the Christian Studies I graduate program at Laurier.
I was accepted (the main requirement was a good English grade, which I had always had).
Coming to Laurier, still without question, boy was I ever made more aware than ever of just how much God has guided my path.
Not only have I grown closer to Him and learned about Him in ways only He could have foreseen;
I met the love of my life,
Some of my lifelong best friends,
and discovered naturally what gifts I really wanted to/felt called to utilize for ministry, and what my dream of “being a pastor” might look like.
In the process, I realized that majoring in solely Christian Studies meant I had to take a lot of electives, which, in first year, were very random according to my availability, from art history to Spanish (my only Cs in my university career– can you tell my interests?!). However, I took one English elective called Reading Fiction, and remembered words of many peers and role models in my life, from my opa, who said, “You would love to take literature courses,” my English teachers over the years, who encouraged me to pursue writing, and my own parents. These affirmations helped me to recognize a fire inside of me that I had always known, but never considered in terms of university, because what kind of job does one get with an English Literature degree?
All I knew was that I wanted more English classes. And so, I applied to double Major, and was accepted.
And the English classes I’ve taken have contributed to my degree, my maturation, and my learning in more ways than I can begin to express. I am a more well-rounded writer, more in tune with the importance of history, and in tune with my passion in analyzing classic writers.
Double Major If…
1. You realize most of your electives are in one field.
2. Your grades are suffering in your electives.
3. You cannot pick between two majors.
Don’t Double Major if…
1. You’re not incredibly confident in your choice of 1st major.
2. You find yourself wanting to explore a variety of other fields.
3. You don’t want to be on a strict schedule with course options.
My English Lit studies have complimented my Christian Studies in that the literature I’m reading for English classes has caused me to think critically about the application of ministry to different individuals in a Christian setting and in the world.

I Believe Research Episode 4: Do I Have to Fast Food?

I Believe Research Episode 4: Do I Have to Fast Food?

Welcome to the blog, and welcome to the fourth instalment of my research for the Bible Study I am launching in March 2019! I am so excited to be sharing the official graphic for the study, credited to my wonderful and compassion friend, Sam Stuckless. […]