faith, freedom, food

Tag: #health

Trusting the Process: Rediscovering The Writer In Me

Trusting the Process: Rediscovering The Writer In Me

“What do you do?” The very well-mannered, very put-together business woman running the networking event I attended a few days ago asked me with a truly genuine smile and caring eyes. “I’m a writer,” I said. And even though that is true now of my […]

Multiple Streams of Income: How I’ve Managed Freelancing

Multiple Streams of Income: How I’ve Managed Freelancing

Good Wednesday! It’s been a while since I’ve had even a moment to update you here, but today I am finally able to sit down and write a bit about something that has been on my heart to share for some time: Multiple Streams of […]

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 sugar, baked, frosted goodness with unknown nutritional values when I was of age and stage to be getting married.

But in the depths of my sickness, the worst times of eating nothing but spinach and the occasional piece of broiled, skinless chicken breast, I would have told you there was no way I would ever touch a baked good again.

If you know me today, you know how far I’ve come since those days.

It’s the memories of shivering cold due to lack of nutrition, feeling faint and zombie-like that no longer cause me to crave numbness, but to feel so truly, desperately sad for that lost girl, and anyone else going through the same deception.

It’s the reminder of conversations in which I was barely engaged with the other party, and more engaged with the adding of meaningless numbers – caloric values – in my mind, constantly finding new justifications for not eating that has made me, finally, so pleased to have engaged, meaningful, undivided conversations.

And it’s the knowledge that my engagement to the love of my life is one, fleeting season that involves so many beautiful friends gathered around good food with endless reasons to be thankful that makes me more determined than ever to block out the diet culture, the “Aren’t you gonna diet for your wedding?” questions, and the little voices that sometimes want to convince me to thwart my recovery by eating the delicious, dairy-free cake my mom bought for my bridal shower with a coffee and a beautiful friend.

Doing so pertained to so much more purpose than simply for enjoying a piece of cake for a few minutes.



It’s also about the memory made. Because, truly…

My experience of recovery has been that time has been fundamental in healing the little wounds that have surfaced.

When I experienced transformational healing a few years ago, I thought I was in the clear in terms of mental eating disorder recovery. This has made it easy for me to feel guilty about ever struggling, and potentially more likely to ignore any mental triggers. But slowly, these things have crept in in small amounts… and I am so, inexpressibly happy, and indebted to my God, to say that I am very aware of them, and rarely give in to old behaviours. My God has given me an awareness and conviction of the Truth I want to live by, which does not involve tracking food eaten.

From a tangible standpoint, the longer I have lived this way, free from measuring, counting, and obsessing, the more NORMAL it has become. And, most interestingly and amazingly, the more physical hunger has actually made me WANT and NEED food than been a mental trigger for restriction. The more normalized my understanding of “just eating” has become. The more naturally and simply my hunger cues take over.

It has been a journey– and if there was one time of my life I was afraid triggers might take over, it was that of wedding planning. But, rather than giving into the messages of the world, this season of engagement has been more motivation than ever to completely redeem my relationship with food, passionate about none of the ugly, disordered stuff sneaking into my marriage or home. To heal my physical body fully is truly my desire.

So I had my Bridal Shower Cake, and I really did eat it, too. And it was absolutely stinkin’ delicious.

Thank-you, Lord Jesus, for your Word that I know to be True. Make me more like you, in all things. Amen.

Church is Monday-Friday: On Prioritizing

Church is Monday-Friday: On Prioritizing

In storybooks and seasons past, “Church” is seen as a service to attend for one boring hour on Sunday mornings in order to “keep right” with a distant God who might otherwise look sourly at us from His lofty place above. I think, when Christian […]

“I Don’t Know How to Believe in God”

“I Don’t Know How to Believe in God”

Happy Wednesday my friends! A couple weekends ago, one of the last weekends of August, marked big changes in my life: it was the last weekend before Johnny moves to Winnipeg for the last time EVER, timed perfectly with our engagement party, hosted by one […]

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?

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 […]

Blackberry Crumble

Blackberry Crumble

In case you didn’t know, I tasted the most amazing food in the world a couple weeks ago. An avid foodie– and, more importantly, an avid peanut butter lover– I was so intrigued when I first noticed Salted Caramel Peanut Butter (sugar free, whole foods, […]

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 […]