MOTIVATION MONDAY: Enjoying Every Bite

HEY MY LOVES!

For some reason I feel as though it has been so long since I sat down to blog, but I love setting aside four days a week to let my thoughts out and hopefully reach out to someone.

Today I want to talk about food– more specifically, what I think food should be, and how to motivate it yourself to make it that.

IMG_20150831_170747

I spent years hating my body. I picked every inch of it apart each day. This was when I had Night Eating Disorder, a binge eating subtype that caused me to eat tens of thousands of calories in the wee hours of the night, then obsessively try to count them.

It was a horrific part of my life. Food had lost all its enjoyment.

Food is meant for two things.

1) Fuel. Yup, we need it to live. We need it for nourishment. And we need lots of it! Think about all the things we do in a day, and all the energy we need for those things. We get that from food. In this way, food is for the body. When we think about it this way, we want to nourish ourselves with foods that make us feel good and that will allow us to do the things we want to do.

Mmm, breakfast with the stunning sara a few days ago.
Mmm, breakfast with the stunning sara a few days ago.

2) Enjoyment. Yeah, we get to enjoy food, too. And here’s a tip: if you’re not enjoying it, don’t eat it.

One of the things I am most passionate about is that every eating experience should be enjoyed. Don’t eat something *just* because it’s “healthy” for you, such tuna on dry toast (boooooring). Also, don’t eat something out of boredom, or if you feel guilty while eating it– food should never be associated with guilt.

I spent two years with an eating disorder that forced me to eat piles of food that I didn’t want. Then I spent half a year with the idea of eating anything provoking anxiety and pain beyond belief.

Now, I just want to enjoy each eating experience, which is why I am so passionate about one day opening a cafe that encourages nourishing and delicious food satisfying both body and soul.

This is all motivation to love yourself. Love every inch of yourself and who you are and let food come into your life in a happy way. If you do that, your body will do just what it needs to.

Stay passionate and stay hungry!

Advertisements

MY THOUGHTS THURSDAY: Triggers

Hello Hello!

It’s 2:54 am and I am wide awake after a great night with great friends. My mind is abuzz, so I decided I definitely had time to blog.

My thoughts lately have been constantly surrounding triggers. What triggers me, what triggers others, and how to deal with them. What can we do to rid ourselves of these sickening things that try to claw their way into our recovery?

I’m going to name some that stand out to me, and rant about them a little bit. If you don’t have an eating disorder, but know someone who does, you may be surprised to hear some of these.

Others’ Eating Habits. This is a huge one. If someone tells me, “All I want is salad,” or, “I barely ate today,” my eating disorder pounces. See, Ed says, it’s normal to eat only salads, or, See, normal people don’t eat. The thing is that eating habits differ from person to person. A “normal person” might be someone who often forgets to eat, gets hungry, and then eats a ton of food. It might be someone who usually has breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Also, sometimes we all actually FEEL like salad. A person with no disordered eating doesn’t understand that our brains are wired to catch every word said about food. They don’t understand that even the phrase, “I’m so full” can send a rush of anxiety to your brain. They don’t understand because food is just food to them. Focus on yourself, and growing ever closer to developing that kind of relationship with food.

IMG_8969

Out-of-Our-Control Situations. I have been working at recovery for long enough to know that whenever a big life event is present for me in which I feel out of control, my eating disorder voices knock around in my brain full force. I have a few times been close to full blown relapses because Ed seeks refuge from life’s battles by means of starvation. Rather than focusing on food, we have to do the tricky thing that sometimes seems impossible: facing the situation head on and gaining perspective and control. This can be obtained through individual therapy, and with the help of friends.

IMG_8970

“You look so much healthier!” Or, “Your smile’s bigger!” “Your cheeks are more full!” Whatever the comment may be, Ed only hears, “You got fat.” He can flip compliments around like it’s his day job, and really, it is. I have learned that listening to Ed does me nothing but harm. The problem comes when sometimes it can be nearly impossible to distinguish between Ed’s voice and my own. In the end, I have to err on the side of MY LIFE. What helps me so much is reading blogs, praying, setting reminders. Sometimes reassurance is the best thing possible. IMG_8990

Whatever your triggers may be, focus on your life. And remember that you are a warrior. You’re fighting a freaking illness and doing the opposite of what it so vehemently tells you to do. Keep going, because life, smiles, happiness is worth it.

 

WHAT I ATE WEDNESDAY: Homeward Bound

After what felt like a very quick 6 hour trip, I’m home, and very ready to see friends and make the most of the last bit of summer.
Today I let the food do the talking, and I’m proud to say I definitely had some ED wins in today’s eats.
Breakfast. We woke up at 8:30 and did the last of the packing, and an hour later I had a breakfast at the cottage. ED planned on a small mug of buckwheat flakes with coconut milk, because he thinks eating that early makes a person “bigger and less appealing for the rest of the day.”
Cassie thinks that bullshit.
I spent a lot of time this morning frustratingly trying to tap into my true hunger cues and block out Ed’s wants, and in doing so I found that I was REALLY hungry. Sometimes it takes a lot of concentration to realize that I need to eat. I probably still didn’t eat enough, but I had a piece of gluten free toast with peanut butter in addition to the mug of cereal.
We were on the road by 11 and I drank two black coffees. I’m addicted.
Lunch. We arrived home at around 4:30 and though I slept for a lot of the car ride, I was still tired! Not tired enough, though, to watch the new Masterchef and eat a giiaaant bowl of oatmeal with cacao powder, sun butter, and blueberries.
Dinner. After catching up texting friends and on Bachelor in Paradise, I settled on a piece of rye toast with bacon and celery. Weird and a little ed-driven, but it got the job done.
Snack. The whole day, I was extremely excited to see Daniella. She picked me up as soon as she got off work and we drove to Starbucks and just talked and laughed for hours. I love this woman to the ends of the earth. I drank a venti soy cappuccino.
I’ve already tidied so much up in my mind and soul and life since I’ve gotten home and it feels good. I’m going upward and Ed’s not bringing me down!

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Cottage Life Part 2

Greetings Again from the most beautiful place in the world!‎
New Hike. My uncle came up to visit us a few days ago. He works for IBM as an inventor of sorts, and thus he is constantly travelling the whole globe. He has truly been practically everywhere.

The day he came to the cottage, he took my sisters and I for a long hike, at the end of which we ended up on the other side of our lake.

The hike took place from one end of these trees to the other.
The hike took place from one end of these trees to the other.
We sat high up on a cliff on the most perfectly sunny day, our legs dangling high above the crystal clear lake. Since I was really young, I’ve been asking Uncle Matt annoying questions about the places he travels to.
I’m seventeen, and nothing’s changed.
“Uncle Matt, where’s the most beautiful lake you’ve ever seen?”
He didn’t hesitate. “Right here,” he said, “I’ve been to countless freshwater lakes, but nothing is quite like Papineau.”
Again, I revert back to the fact that unimaginable beauty can be found in the most normal seeming places. Combermere, Ontario is virtually unheard of, but I will never stop appreciating its beauty, and it will forever be my haven, my favourite place in the world. Uncle Matt is in his mid fifties, and, like my mom and oma, he always feels better at the cottage. I dream of taking a group of friends here in the near future, showing them my favourite places and discovering new ones with them. Then one day, a boyfriend or husband, and kids, maybe. I don’t dwell on what won’t or will become of my life, but today is pretty great.
New Book. I am on to the second in the series, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and gosh, I haven’t been so in love with a trilogy since The Hunger Games.
IMG_20150823_153648
New Traditions. We always have a late meal up here, usual around 8 pm. We spend over an hour talking, and by the time we’re finished, it’s dark, and the sky is a canvas for the stars we can’t see at home. Every single night this trip, my sister Krystal and I have sat outside in my favourite spot and talked, sometimes for hours, watching the stars. Ah, it’s been blessed.
 IMG_20150819_175944
New Story. I’d always known that my grandparents had honeymooned here at the cottage, but had never heard the whole story. Apparently they had been greeted with an unexpected snow storm and been invited to Thanksgiving dinner at a cottage a little further down the beach, by a couple whose granddaughters we now know. I love hearing about the history here.
Old Story. Up until I was maybe eleven or twelve, I spent a lot of my cottage days “baking” sand pies. I’d take orders from each member of my family, and refer to recipes I’d created that used different types, colours, and amounts of sand to make the asked for dessert. I’d serve them in Frisbees or buckets, and my exceptional parents would pretend to eat them.
IMG_20150823_171515
New and Abused Food. Both my parents think corn on the cob is the best thing in the entire world. I’d take it or leave it, but was also a little fearful of it this year. Last night I had a full cob with chicken for dinner.
New Perspective. I’ve always been extremely anxious at the thought of a day spent without doing something specific. Rather, a day solely devoted to reading, swimming, and hiking was selfish. If I wasn’t spending time with other people or working on something that would benefit someone or something, I was wasting a day.
This isn’t the case at all. While I enjoy being busy and experiencing new things and adventuring and not knowing what’s next, a week taken to slow down and lean back with my family has been vital. It sets my head in order to charge whatever is next.
New Timing. I also am not a sleeping-in type. Throughout most of this summer, I’ve been getting maybe four hours of sleep each night. But that really does catch up with a person, and on average at the cottage I’ve gone to bed at 1 and woken at 10:30.
New Places. I can’t remember whether I’ve mentioned this, but in the following years I’ll be doing a lot of travelling for school, preaching in Africa, South America, and parts of Asia. I definitely plan to document these travels! Travelling is definitely not something I could devote my life to, and I have a great appreciation for anyone that can, but I get easily homesick. A few weeks here and there to help others in the ways I feel most able? That’s my kind of travelling.
New Horizons. As I mentioned yesterday, my Instagram is no longer being stupid, so I will be posting there regularly within the next week, in addition to blogging and weekly YouTube videos! To receive notifications about my blog posts, be sure to follow me on this website. My Instagram is primarily food and recipe photography, and my YouTube will be vlogs, rants, recipes, and more.

MOTIVATION MONDAY: Music

Yesterday, I was lying in the sand on the beach outside my cottage, thinking about my own biggest motivators and what to share with you all today. As I was thinking, I was listening to Lady Antebellum’s Lie With Me, and the most obvious motivator hit me: music!
I've been drinking a lot of tea, even on hot days, but that's not new for me ;)
I’ve been drinking a lot of tea, even on hot days, but that’s not new for me 😉
For me, music brings about the most passionate and impossible to put to words ideas and thoughts. Songs can make me cry, laugh, or put me in an instantly bright mood. I think a lot of that has to do with memories.
Music reminds me that each one of us has the power to turn our moods or day around. If you’re experiencing a down so painful it seems endless, do not sit there and feel sorry for yourself. Play something that will make you smile. Or maybe you need to ride that sadness. Sometimes crying is the best way to heal.
Here are some of personal favourite songs:
Gotta Be Somebody, Nickelback
You Found Me, The Fray
No Surprise, Daughtry
I’m Comin Over, Chris Young
Homegrown Honey, Darius Rucker
Highway Don’t Care, Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift
I Know Places, Taylor Swift
Hold Me Down, Halsey
Invincible, Bourgeous
Lean On, Drizzy
For some people, music may not be the answer to motivating a slump or kick starting a day. Find what works for you, and figure out what’s going to make you live today like it’s your last, waking up and saying, this is the next day of my life and that’s pretty awesome, no matter what it brings.
In other news…
My Instagram is finally working again, so I’ll be posting there regularly again within the next week or so. I also have two new YouTube videos coming this week!
Stay Positive.

MY THOUgHTS THURSDAY: Eating Disorder Recovery

Happy Thursday!
I have done a huge amount of thinking about eating disorders and recovering from them. Believe me, I have researched every possible article, essay, and talk on opinions about recovering from these deadly, brutal mental illnesses. In my opinion, so much of recovery has to come from the one who is sick.
In my experience, family based treatment does no good for eating disorders. My Maudsley approach isolated ME from my family, rather than isolating my eating disorder. I felt angry and frustrated throughout that year, but I did learn a lot about what needed to be done.
I started seeing an individual therapist in September of 2014 and am still seeing her. This has been exceptionally helpful and I attribute her to much of the progress I’ve made. I’ve also learned that all of hardships have still been stepping stones, and I am grateful still for all the hard times.
Still, though, when new situations come into my life that make me feel out of control, I really struggle with them and they often trigger me into lapses, such as now. My fear is that one of these day I could reach a full blown relapse.
What is real recovery? And why does it still plague me? Why is this often so challenging, I feel stuck and unreachable?
Sometimes my own thoughts make me crazy. But I’ve learned that the real answer is to keep going. To make yourself want recovery even when you think you don’t. To know that there is more to life than clouds even when you simply can’t fathom it. Yes, it’s a mental illness, and sometimes we just can’t think that way. I will continue to seek out new recovery treatments for the rest of my life until I believe there’s a more solid form. For now I’m thinking out loud for the rest of you.
Do forgive me that my thoughts are a bit messy.

WHAT I ATE WEDNESDAY: Cottage Eats

Good Day to You All!!!
*TRIGGER WARNING*
Though mentally I’ve been feeling mostly happy and at peace, my eating habits are not necessarily reflecting that of late. If this continues, I will stop doing What I Ate Wednesdays, but for now I was able to photograph a decent day of food at the cottage.
Breakfast. I rolled out of bed at 10:30 and brewed some coffee immediately. One thing that’s been excellent is that I’ve been putting unsweetened almond milk in my coffee, with special. I had a big mug of it with a piece of sprouted whole grain toast topped with honey on the beach with my magazine. I relaxed here for an hour, because the day was rainy. Afterward, Krystal, Courtney and I filmed some videos for YouTube.
IMG_20150818_150331
Lunch. At 1ish, my opa rang our “meal bell.” I’ve been enjoying this tradition since I was first born, and remember when hearing it would bring excitement for a meal full of laughs and good food. This past month I have been in a rut in which food brings nothing but anxiety again. I will fight this and figure out what’s causing it. I made myself a bowl of cooked oats with cacao, peanut butter, and blueberries.
After lunch, despite the rain, we all really wanted to take the motor boat out. We each went tubing, and I can’t explain how freeing this is. Gliding atop something so pure, it’s very empowering, and just fun. My dad drives the boat and smiles so big when he sees us smile. Afterward I went on my own hike, read lots of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and wrote in my journal.
Dinner. Dinner rolled around, and I anxiously took some cucumber slices and a chicken breast. I was angry with myself somewhere inside but really dealing with confliction.
Snack. I decided to take the kayak out on the lake to think. This is my favourite thing to do at night. The lake is so vast and dark, and the trees surrounding it have little lights here and there, different people enjoying different conversation. The way the acoustics are, I can hear some exact conversations. No one worries about privacy. Papineau Lake is its own family.
IMG_20150819_210218
With newfound perspective and knowing that restriction will get me nowhere, I brought the kayak in and made myself another bowl of oatmeal, the same as for lunch, but with more oats. I asked Krystal to join me outside in my favourite spot and we talked and laughed and I prayed a silent prayer.
I am stronger than this illness and so are you.