faith, freedom, food

Tag: #food

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 […]

“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 into negatives.

There was a time that this compliment “triggered” me quite severely. A person’s well-intentioned “You look healthy” would automatically translate in my mind to “You got fat,” “You gained weight,” “I guess she finally lost that amazing will power.”

Lies.

It is often the result of a simply relieved, caring loved one or acquaintance who is truly so happy to see health back in a sufferer’s body. And today, when I ran into a former co-worker and she barely recognized me because of the “pep in my step and health of my hair,” I was joyfully teary eyed when she said, “I’m so happy to see you look healthy.”

We worked together at a trendy-health-food cafe. I didn’t see it at the time, of course, but the environment was a trigger for old habits and thought patterns. It sounds like this co-worker saw it in me, though.

“You seemed consumed in it,” she said, “When you were there. But I had to come over here to tell you that I remember you for your kindness. You were so genuinely kind to me and everyone like I’ve never known. That shone through whatever you were dealing with. I didn’t know if I should come over here and tell you that, but I thought you needed to hear it. And I’m so happy to see you looking so happy and healthy… I barely recognized you!”

Happy and healthy… healthy hair… pep in my step…

The enemy in my mind wanted to turn those words, for a split second, into

You lost control… you got fat… you “fell off track”…

But, as today I embarked on the beginning of a new set of trials with new doctors to hopefully restore my menstrual cycle and hormones; as I look back to the food I’ve eaten with friends and family over the past few years with little obsession and much joy (not perfectly, but miles ahead); as I look to JESUS, my example, my purpose, who says not to think or worry about what I put in my body for a single second…

I replied with sincere thanks. That it meant SO much that she could see the changes in me, even in my step. That she looked at me and saw health and happiness, and still, above all, kindness, meant the world.

I wish I had told her that that kindness was empowered by the Living God, but I pray for the opportunity to see this woman again.

For now, I thank her for the reminder that health and happiness are good good things from my Good Good Father. They empower me to do His will, and that is all I desire from this life.

Having My Bridal Shower Cake… and Eating It, Too

Having My Bridal Shower Cake… and Eating It, Too

Here’s what they don’t tell you about eating disorders: They’re usually pretty innocent at first. An endeavour to “be healthier.” When my restrictive illness first developed when I was fifteen, I never would have considered that I might still be terrified of white flour and […]

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 […]

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 was living.

For me, that means: what would 10-year-old Cassie think of 21-year-old Cassie?

What do I WANT 31-year-old Cassie to think of and remember about 21-year-old Cassie?

Thinking about these things has absolutely been mind-shifting, and I would encourage you to do the same.

First: 10-year-old Cassie.

I’m to the right here. This is definitely more like 7-or-8-year-old Cassie, but, in any case…

She loved Harry Potter and all things fiction, drama, and faith-related. She had grown a deepening interest in and relationship with God, and had transitioned from dreaming of being a child actress to feeling a calling to church ministry.

She had not yet developed any negative or disordered relationship with food, knowing nothing about it but that she enjoyed it. She didn’t think about or plan food between meals, but ate what was in front of her, though was quite picky.

She didn’t have any care in the world for social media platforms, her physical image, or the way others perceived her. In fact, I specifically remember 8-year-old Cassie standing on her chair during lunch, proclaiming to her class that she has a crush on a boy named Jin because “looks don’t matter.”

31-year-old Cassie. What do I hope she is like?

I hope that she is as far away from disordered eating as one could be.

I pray that she has more love in her heart, and spends less time in front of screens.

I hope that she is consumed with love for her husband, and their children. I hope that she feels confident in her job, and that she prioritizes actively helping others.

I hope that prayer is deeply intertwined with how she lives her life. I hope that she is more well-versed in theology, the Bible, and has read The Lord of the Rings.

I hope that she is a better chef, and has established fun and quirky traditions with her family.

I hope that she is in touch with, and frequently sees, all her beautiful, unmatchable friends; her incredible parents; her sisters, in-laws, and extended family.

I hope that she didn’t waste time taking things too seriously, or worrying that she was “behind” in life. I hope she didn’t waste time worrying about spending money on a dinner or two out with friends.

….

Alllllll right, 21-year-old Cass. Where are we at?

Naturally….. the things I mentioned 10-year-old Cassie lacking– and the things I HOPE 31-year-old Cassie lacks– are some of the things I am convicted that 21-year-old Cassie deals with.

So, instead of consuming myself with worries about money and my job, I’m going to think more about my loved ones and my community.

Instead of spending free time on my phone, I want to stop the scroll for a moment of conversation with my God.

Instead of allowing old disordered habits to sneak into my mind, I want to relinquish every thought to Jesus, and build deep roots in His Word, and in His Truth about those thoughts.

Okay, Friend. It’s your turn.

What does 10-year-old you think of you now?

What do you hope you IN 10 years looks back on about you now?

When Life Isn’t a Story

When Life Isn’t a Story

…I have learned that I struggle. I know that God knows that I love a good story. A self-titled (and, now, professionally titled) writer since I was eight years old, I see everything in life in stories. A good storyline complete with metaphors and compelling […]

The Almond Butter Lesson (From a Recovered Anorexia-Sufferer)

The Almond Butter Lesson (From a Recovered Anorexia-Sufferer)

If you know me in real life, you know that I absolutely adore nut butters. And if you’ve been in my kitchen in real life, you know that on a whole new level. I almost always have more than one type of nut or seed […]

3 Engaged Girls, One House

3 Engaged Girls, One House

It is only just hitting me that in a matter of weeks, the girls I have lived with for the past three years and I will never live together again.

In fact, each of us will be transitioning to living with– a man— for the rest of our lives.

Yes– my university living experience was probably not like most, particularly at my secular school in southwestern Ontario, Wilfrid Laurier. I met Maddie and Mary in my first year of university, as they were colleagues in my smaaaalll program, Christian Studies. We hit it off instantly as friends, and soon became as close as sisters.

From left to right: Maddie, me, Autumn, Beth, and Mary.

We found a student apartment to live in together in second year with two other girls. Pictured above is our third-year crew, all of us having met in Christian Studies classes. ALL of the girls in this photo are engaged now, with the exception of Beth, who was married to her hubby in August 2018, a wedding we were so honoured to attend.

Now, these girls make up my bridal party… and I make up theirs. Mary marries her man in October, Johnny & I in January, and Maddie in June 2020. Our men proposed months apart, but many of the preparations for the weddings have taken place in our little student living situation. With either a bridesmaid dress or a wedding gift or a decor piece arriving to the front porch seemingly every week, it’s no wonder people have asked me what it’s like to “share the spotlight” with my best friends in the same house.

And here’s the answer: I wouldn’t have it any other way, because the only spotlight in these relationships is on Jesus Christ.

I feel blessed beyond words, in fact, that I have had the opportunity to live with these two women who know that their weddings are about the lifelong marriage and not the day itself. Who have hearts that want their relationships to reflect and glorify God rather than lift up themselves. And it is because of these very mindsets, the very presence of God, that we have approached each other, and being in each other’s wedding parties while also being brides, with nothing but love, grace, equality, compassion, and joy.

Also pictured here is Bethany, another one of my bridesmaids and beautiful friend from Christian Studies.

HE is why it’s been nothing but fun. HE is why I have been able to give being a bridesmaid, maid of honour, and bride– all at once, and while LIVING with the girls– the attention each role deserves. HE is the reason for it all, and to Him I give all the glory.

And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

ECCLESIASTES 4:4

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 […]