body image, favorites, Intuitive Eating, life, Safer Living

life lately // things i’m loving

Hello! I’m finally sitting down to write this post with a cup of heated up coffee (which exploded in the microwave…) and Rosie purring by my side (it’s so good to have her back!).

I’m so looking forward to date night tonight! Blake and I have started the tradition of having wine and cheese and making dinner together on Friday nights. I think I honestly prefer making a nice dinner at home than going out to eat. Breakfast/brunch is the exception. Tonight we’re also going to watch as many episodes of The Crown as we can! Who’s with us?

We at last have our own space, and have moved to the basement apartment of my sister and brother-in-law’s house. I love having our own space again, even if it’s small, it’s still our own.

I love reading other blogger’s Friday favorites/things I’m loving posts, so I thought I’d write one too! Here are some things I’ve been loving lately:

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Eating: For years I’ve been a sweet breakfast person, but lately I’ve been craving sweet and savory. Most mornings this combo sounds good. Two pieces of toast, one with sunflower seed butter and banana, and one with avocado, TJ’s Everything Bagel Seasoning, and an over-easy egg. So satisfying!

Reading: Still reading Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. This is seriously a life-changing book. I cannot recommend it enough!

Listening: In addition to constant Christmas music, I’m listening to podcasts whenever I drive or walk. Podcasts are my jam! I just found the BodyLove Project podcast and listened to her most recent episode about the Whole30 (find on iTunes). Oh my goodness, this is pack-full of insightful thoughts. Can’t wait to listen to more of her episodes!

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Using: I found a safer deodorant that actually works! Native Deodorant is the bomb! I am sensitive to baking soda in deodorant, so I use one of their sensitive formulas. I’m not jazzed to see “fragrance” on the ingredient list, however on their website they say this is made up of a proprietary blend of oils. Wish they would list them out, but I’m going to go with it for now.

Also LOVING Beautycounter’s Countermatch Collection! The full collection does wonders to my skin, especially with the drier weather. My skin stays hydrated and radiant all day long! Check out the video on my Facebook page and Instagram I did today to learn more about the collection.

Have a lovely weekend!

What have you been loving lately? Any good books, podcasts, or recipes? Share them in the comments.

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body image, Intuitive Eating, life

being real

You may be wondering where I’ve been. I’m still here and thinking about the blog and you, my readers. Life has been full and every day has been so different, that I haven’t found my rhythm. Also, I’ve been doing lots of thinking, probably a lot of overthinking and doubting myself. I tell you all this because I want to be honest with what I’m going through. Let me explain…

I’m a perfectionist and often struggle feeling “good enough.” As I’ve entered the blogging world, I’ve wanted to do it well. I want to reach more people with my story because I believe that God has given me my experiences for a reason. I want to encourage and bless others. However, I struggle with doubts that I’m not creative enough and I have nothing to share, and that my blog isn’t professional.

I’m struggling with comparison and with feeling like I have nothing to share.

Through my journey with an eating disorder and recovery, I have learned so much that I want to share with others, however I feel like I have no authority in the topics I want to share. I share from my own experience about learning to eat intuitively, recovering from an eating disorder, and accepting my body, but I’m no therapist or dietician.

This week, I was ready to give up the blog. Then I had a conversation with my mom. She reminded me how my blog has encouraged some of her friends, and that God has given me a story to tell. She encouraged me to keep it up and write as if I was writing to a friend.

The last thing I want is to lose joy in writing the blog. If my blog can impact one person, that is all that matters. So, I may never have a big blog, but that’s not what matters.

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I’m no professional writer, blogger, therapist, or dietician, but I do have a story to tell and a passion for others to live life to the fullest. So follow along with my imperfect journey, share with others who are struggling, and never forget that no matter how imperfect you feel, you are worthy.

 

 

Intuitive Eating, Self-care

should you exercise when you’re sick?

If you follow me on Instagram you will know that I have been battling a sinus infection for the last 9 days. It has been super frustrating especially because we just moved to Philly and I want to get out and do things and work. I’m terrible at resting, as my husband can attest, but I am really trying so I can get better.

One thing I’ve given up during this time is exercise. I love exercising for a variety of reasons and find it beneficial for my overall health, but when I am sick exercise is the last thing I need. Don’t get me wrong, I miss moving my body and feeling strong. I cannot wait till I’m better and can resume with normal life, but I won’t sacrifice my health for a workout.

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This current mindset is drastically different than what it used to be. In my eating disorder and even in recovery, I followed a rigid exercise regime. I had to work out at least X times a week, for X amount of time, and I wouldn’t consider it a workout unless it was heart-pumping. Rain or shine, sick or tired I worked out. I was so afraid that if I missed one workout, I would gain weight. I also believed that if I didn’t work out, I couldn’t eat. So, no matter how sick I was, I would fit in a full workout.

I will post later about my journey with exercise, but this is the gist. My addiction to exercise really started shifting about 5 years ago, when I injured my knee. I had to stop working out completely and then find other ways to move my body. This experience completely broke me. I had to face my fears.

Through this injury (which I am still working on), I learned to trust my body with food and exercise. I learned that my body doesn’t need to go through intense exercise to be healthy. I picked up other forms of movement like walking, yoga, pilates, lifting, and swimming, and fit them into my exercise options. I learned that I could and need to still eat and eat enough even when I’m not exercising. My body didn’t blow up and I didn’t instantly gain tons of weight.

If you struggle with an eating disorder or exercise addiction or are even just afraid of gaining weight, let me tell you that you can trust your body. Are bodies are so smart, and if we actually tune into them, they tell us what we need (what to eat, if we should move our body, etc.).

Robyn, one of my favorite bloggers, has taught me so much about how exercise affects our bodies and hormones. Her posts have challenged me to listen to my body and evaluate why I exercise. I’ve learned that intense exercise when I’m in a stressful time of life, sick, or tired actually causes more harm than good (see her posts here and here).

I’m not saying exercise is bad. In fact, I love moving my body, and cannot wait to do so mindfully once I am better, but there is flexibility. Exercise should be enjoyable not add stress or harm.

When someone is recovering from being sick, their body needs energy to heal itself. That means rest and adequate nutrition. It is okay to skip exercise for a couple days or weeks, if that’s what it takes to heal your body.

I say this as someone who knows the fear of gaining weight from missing a workout, and yet I’ve also learned that there is so much flexibility. I can trust my body. In these last 9 days, I haven’t instantly gained weight or lost all my muscle mass, and I’m eating the exact same.

In the larger scheme of things, missing a couple workouts, make little difference in my life. My goal is to take care of my body so I can live life to the fullest and love others well. Life is so much more than exercise.

 

 

Intuitive Eating, Uncategorized

food freedom

Happy Labor Day weekend! I am excited for this weekend, because my whole immediate family will be all together for the first time in years, and because my little niece is here! Wether you are laying low this weekend, or off on a grand adventure, I wish you well!img_1482

I finally started reading a book that’s been on my list for ages, Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole, and it is life-changing! I am only a couple chapters into it, but I can tell it will change my relationship with food. If you struggle with eating or body image, I highly recommend it.

 I am not an expert and am still learning how to implement intuitive eating into my life (hence reading the book), but I absolutely love the concept! Essentially, intuitive eating is listening to your body around food – eating when you’re hungry, stopping when you’re full, eating what sounds good, etc. Intuitive eating isn’t a perfect science or diet, it differs for every person and situation. I plan to write another post specifically about intuitive eating because there is so much to share.

My relationship with food has been all over the place for over 14 years. In my eating disorder, food was my enemy. I thought about every morsel I put in my mouth, planned all my meals, and compensated for “richer” foods. My life revolved around food, especially what I could and couldn’t eat. Consequently, I lost touch with my hunger and fullness cues and developed distrust with my body.

When I entered treatment 8 years ago, my dietician developed a structured meal plan including meals and snacks and a wide variety of food. Looking back, I remember how terribly afraid I was to eat “all that food” and to reintroduce certain foods into my diet. It seems silly that something so basic as food could be fear-inducing, but the reality is that food has that power over so many people’s lives in our society. img_1504

It took years, but slowly I began recognizing hunger and fullness cues, and I became comfortable with eating a variety of foods. It was not an overnight process, by any means. I used to have a very long list of “fear foods” which I tackled one-by-one. Now, many of those foods are regularly a part of my normal eating. I remember when my dietician suggested I have dessert every day. At the time, it sounded impossible, but now I have it every day and love it!

In today’s world, we are bombarded with messages about what to eat and what not to eat. Certain foods are deemed bad, while others are glorified. How have we given food so much power? Yes, food is a necessity and a wonderful thing, but it will not make you a better or worse person. I believe there are no good or bad foods – all foods are good.

Over the years, I have slowly started trusting my body to the point I know that if I listen to it, I will eat a balanced diet. Since tuning into my body, I’ve been amazed to find what it craves. My body craves fresh foods and carbohydrates and protein, but it also feels great with a little something sweet at the end of the day. For me, when all foods are allowed, I think about food less, I don’t feel guilty for eating certain foods, and I am much more flexible in social situations. img_1505

I want to shout out to the world that we can trust our bodies and that food has no power over us! It breaks my heart to hear people degrade themselves for eating certain foods. When I hear a woman scold herself over the scone she had with her morning coffee, and how she “should” skip lunch, I want to say, “No, you can eat a scone and lunch, and actually you should eat lunch because your body needs the nourishment.”

Don’t let food control your worth or happiness. Food is an amazing thing (I love eating good food), but it has no power over you. I know the terrible bondage food can have over people, and a life of food freedom is infinitely better.

Especially as you go into this weekend, give yourself grace and permission to trust your body’s cravings. Eat that cupcake and savor every bite!

Intuitive Eating Resources