WIAW: Vacation EatsΒ 

I really had no time to post on Instagram all the yummy food I ate over my trip- mainly because it would have been awkward but I like to take social media breaks and focus on my family.

I decided to take pictures the last day of my visit when I wasn’t around extended family as much.

My day started off a little later than usual for breakfast and my tummy was growling so much!  I got a veggie feta omelette with hash browns and buttered toast! It’s amazing something as simple as buttered toast tastes sooo delicious! πŸ˜‰

Literally an hour after this I could tell I was still hungry. I don’t usually have morning snacks so it was a little hard to accept that I was hungry but I need to start listening to my body more and learn to flow with it. I had a dark chocolate peanut Nugo bar in my purse. Always be prepared people!

Considering that breakfast was later, lunch was obviously later too. My mom wasn’t hungry but I know I cannot skip meals. We settled for something simple but my favorite- PANERA ❀

 My favorite sandwich there is the bacon turkey bravo on their fluffy tomato basil bread. I also got a classic salad and an apple with a large tea. Simple and satisfying πŸ™‚

It wasn’t long until we had dinner either. Not going to lie when I said my hunger was non existent. But I can’t deny dinner and a time out with my family. Girls gotta eat regardless! I got a chicken enchilada and a spinach cheese mushroom enchilada with a side of fajita grilled vegetables. I also tried one of my mom’s chicken fajita nachos (which was the BOMB)

 Before this, we shared chips,salsa, and guac and I found the master tortilla chip πŸ˜€ Ignore the Elsa doll in the background, it was my little cousin’s…. Later to be covered in salsa.
 I usually do have more snacks during the day but vacations are unpredictable. I just made my meals bigger and tried to be flexible. Sometimes, you just have to learn to get off routine and go with the flow even if it’s not what you want or your normal times. This was a completely intuitive day for me and I’m really happy to see how I did and making sure I kept my intake up.

Do you enjoy eating out?

Favorite thing to order at Panera?

My Christmas Success

When is the last time you ordered a large bag of movie theatre popcorn? Remember the first bite- the salty buttery crunch that entices your taste buds for more? Popcorn at the movies has been one of the biggest foods I have kept “off limits” for the longest time. 
When I was growing up, I could eat a large bag easy and it was just considered a normal snack! After hearing so much about how “bad” it is for you I put it on the list of things never to eat, ever. It was Christmas Day right after breakfast, my family decided they wanted to see Star Wars to kill time before going over to see relatives. While the idea of sitting for 2 long hours after being in the car 8 hours the previous day, really turned me off and provoked some anxiety. However, I gave in because I had no choice.

Once we got our seats, my mom wanted to go get some popcorn and I wanted a drink. I had absolutely no intentions of eating because we ate an hour before and I wasn’t really hungry. 

I was the one holding the bag in the middle and had a bite because it still smelled really good. Before I knew it, I kept popping more in my mouth. I ended up eating a bag and a half with my mom.   I don’t think I have ever experienced a true binge before and most people would consider this a small “binge”, losing control, or mindless eating. You know what though? I. Don’t. Care. I don’t even consider it to be any of those because intuitive eating means eating even if you aren’t truly hungry. It means eating when something sounds good and it sometimes means eating past fullness. 

This was a moment in my life that I truly felt like my old, carefree self again. Yeah, their were some mean thoughts about myself coming into my head but did I let that stop me from having the full movie experience? NO!

I may have eaten over a days worth of fat in just a snack, but I’m OKAY. The world keeps revolving and it will not kill you. Your body CAN and WILL use it! 

Later on that day I had a normal Christmas dinner at my uncle’s house without thinking about restricting from food earlier that day. 

This wasn’t just a recovery win for me, but a big wake up call for just experiencing NORMALCY. I need to stop holding myself back when something sounds good because of some irrational thoughts at the time.

I don’t want to look back on my life with regrets of not truly living. I want to remember being happy. 

I hope you all had an amazing holiday and were able to treat yourself and enjoy it. If not, don’t beat yourself up. There is always next year and it’s never to late to start challenging yourself. Go live, eat what YOU want, and don’t let anyone or your own self hold you back. 

What yummy treat did you have for Christmas?

Sometimes, you need to tell on yourself.

I would say when I look at how far I’ve come in my recovery as a whole, I am almost a completely different person now and I am proud of my accomplishments. It didn’t occur to me until the other day when deciding what to have for lunch did I really question my mental recovery. Some part of me slipped and had the urge to eat a TON of veggies and quinoa and egg whites. Why though? It didn’t sound good…. I just felt like I “needed” too because of what I had eaten prior that day. But really, a good old peanut butter jelly sounded good. After standing in the kitchen for 15 minutes fighting with myself, I made my PBJ and instantly felt satisfied but I was just a little frustrated at myself for making such a big deal about one meal.

I would guess that roughly 90% of people with or with a history of an eating disorder have stumbled down the path of “clean eating”. I know I have gotten my head in a bunch thinking about ways to totally detox my body and eat only whole foods. When I realized that this was not only hindering my recovery but not getting me anywhere with my weight gain goals I stopped, but that doesn’t mean it just stops in your head.

We are all exposed to people with this kind of diet. It could be a parent, a friend, in a magazine you read at the doctors office, or of course social media. It is ever so stressful to try to challenge yourself when you have all these diet messages thrown around like crazy.

What really helped me was reminding myself that absolutely NO ONE eats “perfectly”. Some people would argue that veganism is the healthiest way to go, but for me personally, I CRAVE meat,dairy, eggs. I cannot imagine cutting those things out of my diet. Others would argue that paleo, juicing, gluten free, or “clean” food is the way to go. Not necessarily for YOU though. If someone chooses that lifestyle (disordered or not) then LET THEM.

We need to focus on OUR own health rather than spend time comparing or making yourself feel bad for what you wanted to eat.

I love having a wide variety of foods to choose from. To me, it’s what makes life so much more enjoyable and exciting. I can go out with friends and order what I want, not because I need to eat a certain way for comfort.

Sometimes we need to tell on ourselves and that’s what I’m doing in this post. I am not ashamed for having a struggle, I would be lying if I said I lived in a perfect little world everyday and just ate carelessly. I am human and recovery is a continuous process. Like I said, I am proud to say I don’t really have “fear foods” anymore, I have made emends with many foods and starting to accept my not-so-perfect body. I have come far, but some things just need more attention. I am continuing to work on this clean mindset and just seeing all foods as fuel for my body.

The only time food can truly end up hurting your body more than anything is when you stop eating it. Listen to your body and feed it.

So I’m curious…

Have you ever been pressured to eat a certain way because someone else did?

What is one food you would never ever give up?

 

 

Q&A 12/17/15

I’m currently typing this in my bed because my energy has been so low and my body just wants to sleep! But I will take this time to get something done and answer those questions you all had for me πŸ˜‰ The only ones I am not going to answer are the ones that I don’t find relevant or helpful for my own or anyone else’s recovery. If you have more personal questions, you can always email me at: emlove814@gmail.com ❀

Here we go:

What motivated/pushed me to recover?

I got this question by several people and to be flat out honest: I’m tired. So damn tired of being tired. Drained. Constantly worried about food and my body. I just want to be fully happy again. I want late night ice cream runs and to go a week without working out and still look at myself as beautiful. I have put my body through so much damage too many times and my parents told me they wouldn’t send me to treatment. They wanted me to want recovery badly enough that I would ACTUALLY choose it. So I did, and decided to recover at home this last time around. No dietitian, no therapist, just me and facing my fears. I wouldn’t call myself 100% recovered but that’s because I am far from perfect and recovery is an ongoing process for some people. Sorry for the novel.

How did you deal with weight gain and eating even though you knew each week you were gaining?

Gaining is the GOAL. I know that is the hardest thing for people with an eating disorder to accept but gaining weight is what is saving your life. You are not only gaining weight but you are gaining your life back. You know that little sparkle you had as a kid? That is taken away with every pound you lose. Fight all you can for it back. I kept that in the back of my head.

If you could travel one place in the world for a week, where would it be and why?

I have always wanted to travel to Italy. Something about trying real Italian food and they have some of the most beautiful sights! It really seems like an easier way of life over there and I just love to explore. Also, I like my men tall, dark, and Italian πŸ˜‰

What is your favorite quality of yourself?

I like my wittiness. I find that I am mostly an introvert but when I am around others, a completely sarcastic and random side of me illuminates and I can get people to laugh or smile very easily πŸ™‚

Do you recommend residential treatment?

Depends on your motivation level. Some need to go to treatment to be away from outside stressors that may prevent them from reaching a healthy recovery. Some people can recover at home but having a VERY strong support team is crucial. Whether that be close relatives that you can talk to and work on things you struggle with or a therapist and dietitian to give you the tools you need to be successful and to prevent relapse. I personally found residential very helpful, but at the time I don’t think my motivation was as high as it is now.

What are some of your favorite ways to cope with anxiety?

Anxiety runs in my family, like hard-core. So dealing with it has been interesting…. What really helps me more than anything is talking/venting to my mother. She is my best friend and I am so happy to have her in my life. Other things that help are blogging, journaling, going for a small walk, laying in the warm weather, taking a hot shower, and listening to music fo sho.

What’s your favorite college experience thus far and what experience do you wish you could do over?

Oh boy, my favorite experience was probably being around a whole new group of people. I really needed to start over and have no one know anything about me. I wish I would have been a little more social but hey, I still have next semester and that is my plan πŸ™‚

What do you do to spend the Christmas and New Year without worrying about all the food?

Food is not the focus. It has taken me years to finally realize this. Food is just what brings people together and should be seen as an enjoyable thing- especially if that’s the one day of the year you get that kind of food. The less you stress about the food, the more you will smile, be present, and focus on the loved ones that truly matter. Enjoy your holiday πŸ™‚

What are some of your favorite ways to get healthy fats in?

For starters, I don’t like to think too much about if it is “healthy” or “unhealthy”. Fats are fats. I’m not saying eating a stick of butter is the best thing for you, but choosing butter over olive oil is OKAY. I actually love to butter my bread or spread some coconut oil on it. Delicious! Obviously I am a nut butter addict so I get a lot of fats in by adding a huge gob to my oatmeal. Not no little teaspoon shmear. That is so unsatisfying! I also LOVE LOVE LOVE avocado! YAS. Don’t throw away the yolk of eggs. No.

How do you know when to stop increasing?

Well it depends on your goals. If you are trying to regain weight, keep increasing until you gain consistently or just listen to your body. Nothing wrong with extra when recovering from an eating disorder. In other words, there is NO extra in recovery. It’s all important. You should probably be within a healthy weight range and getting your period before you can consider maintaining. But just because you are at a healthy weight doesn’t mean cut your intake again. If you are just wanting to increase your metabolism then add a little each week and see how you feel with your hunger cues.

What was the hardest thing about recovery for you?

Wow, this one is a toughy. It’s all hard. Nothing ever worth it comes easy. But I will never forget all the times I had to leave my family. I still can remember the tears on my mom’s face as she left me in treatment. Every damn time. I am so close to my family that it kills me to be away for so long. Oh, and can’t forget about the constipation….

What in your life has changed for the better since recovering?

EVERYTHING. Nothing ever good came from my ED. Nothing. I have my family and friends back. I can eat REAL food and actually enjoy it. I can sleep in my own bed. I have energy to walk up the stairs and my motivation to live back. I can exercise now (within reason) and feel strong. Recovery is more than great, it’s phenomenal ❀

If you could have any profession, what would it be?

I am going to college to become a dietitian. I feel as though God has put me through my struggle to overcome it and use it to help others. I feel as though I am far enough along to where I will never ever go back. Being a dietitian may even help me maintain a healthy relationship with food my whole life. I cannot wait to reach out to others and help them find their own balance.

What keeps you happy and wanting to wake up every morning?

Life. It is fascinating. Every breathing moment there is something to look forward to. Whether it’s nomming on your favorite breakfast or spending time with loved ones, life is constantly changing and you never know where the day will lead you.

Should someone jump to the recommended recovery intake or take it slowly?

For people that are severely restricting under 2000 calories a day, I would say take it slow at first. Start with about 2000, then the next week shot for 2200-2400. Increase in increments every 5-7 days until you reach the 3000 MINIMUM. Some people go over because again, there is no limit in recovery!

How can someone deal with bloating? I feel like I can’t enough food in because I am always so full.

Think about what you are filling yourself up with every day. People with an ED tend to want to eat foods with a lot of volume such as fruit, veggies, popcorn, protein bars, etc. Eating DENSER foods and cutting down some of the fiber and protein will help SO MUCH. Switch out the fresh fruit for dried fruit and see how you feel. Cut down the vegetable consumption because your body does not need that right now. (Read more about that here) Also, adding liquid calories helps incredibly when added to meals and snacks!

Have you ever been in love?

No. I had a serious boyfriend but I honestly won’t call it love. The time will come πŸ˜‰

Do you want kids someday? How many?

Yes ma’am! It would be awesome to have a boy and a girl.

What is the best way to stop counting macros/ only eating “clean foods”?

Food is not numbers. Your body takes in what you give it and uses it. Nothing just sits there. Realizing that if you eat protein, carbs, and fats throughout the day at meals, you are getting enough of what you need. No need to get so specific about it. Also, what you think is “healthy” and what another thinks is “healthy” could be completely different things. This link was somewhat helpful:

http://thefuckitdiet.com/2015/12/01/how-to-think-about-nutrition/

When did the weight finally distribute?

It just happens. Not overnight or in one week. The less you body check in the mirror and pick out every little detail on your body, the less it will even cross your mind. I would say for me it happened as I was gaining, I just didn’t even notice it. Give it time and don’t be hard on your body. It’s doing what it is for a good reason.

I hope this helped! πŸ˜‰

XOXO

Emmy ❀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should You Count Calories To Gain Weight?

I have gotten this question more often than I eat peanut butter… which is A LOT.

The answer is: it depends on the person.

Some people find that it helps them if they don’t get normal hunger cues or if they have a busy schedule they need to work around.

For other people, they prefer not to get numbers involved.

Neither way is right or wrong, they are two different ways to approach an adequate recovery intake for the specific individual.

But really….. You DO NOT necessarily need to count calories to do Minnie Maud.

Here are some tips that worked for me to gain weight:
Drink a high calorie supplement with your snacks or add liquid calories to meals and/or snacks.
Stop buying diet and low carb/fat/calorie products. Not only will it help you physically gain weight, it helps with the mental aspect of recovery and challenging the “diet” mentality. In recovery, you need to be exposing yourself to foods you have been avoiding and that are REAL foods.
Cook more food with fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, butter, etc.  Adding more fats to your diet is going to do amazing things to your hair, nails, and skin. They are an essential part of a healthy body and should never be avoided.
If Minnie Maud doesn’t seem like it will work for you, it might be in your best interest to see a dietitian to help you set up a meal plan that is based on exchanges or a certain guideline to keep you from thinking about calorie counts all the time. There are different approaches that will work for each individual.

Even when you see a dietitian, they still get your intake up to about Minnie Maud calorie guidelines without putting focus on the specifics.

Remember this: food should not be seen as numbers. When you sit down to a meal, do you really want to look at it and start adding everything up? NO! You should be savoring every bite and being thankful you are blessed with nourishment.

Coming Out About Your ED

fdsEating disorders are made up of several traits. One of those traits is being secretive and not wanting others to know about it. It wants you all to itself and allows no one in. I remember years ago when I didn’t even think I had an eating disorder and lashed out at the doctors when they told me I had one. However, one of the most important things you need to do when you feel you have signs of any kind of eating disorder is to tell someone.

Even if you need to tell just one person. Someone you are close with, that supports you, or even someone you know that you just enjoy talking to. It is NOT as bad as your brain tells you its going to be. More than likely, the talk will bring you closer to that person and they might feel honored that you chose them to tell.

When people at school found out about me going to a treatment center, I was freaked out about returning and what people would say to me. When I came back, it was like normal. Sure people spread the word and pretty much everyone knew… but they treated me like they would have if I hadn’t left. I did receive one comment from a kid in class saying something like “at least you have some meat on you now.” This comment has stuck with me to this day. A part of me felt like he was calling me “fat” but logically, he was calling me “healthy”. He was so ignorant to how sensitive I was to words like that and I recognize this now. STOP GIVING A SHIT! Just because he made that comment does not change the fact that if I had continued down that road, I would have died. He didn’t know that. But I did. You must be stronger than the words that get thrown around and just move on. Easier said than done… but very possible.

What you need to understand is not everyone in this world is going to be your friend and love you. That’s just the way it goes. Make peace with it. Focus your attention on the ones that lift you up and make you smile. Those are the ones that are going to matter for you in the long-run.

No one deserves to be left to suffer by themselves. This is similar to people with an addictions. Do you think it would be right for them to keep engaging in their addictive behavior knowing that it is slowly killing them? NO! Every person has a right to voice any problems they are going through. Voicing this does not make you weak, it does not make you a failure. It makes you STRONG because you are taking the first step toward recovery.

recoverQuite honestly, I do not think I would have recovered if my family knew nothing about it. They eventually would have had to find out because it starts becoming super obvious, but having that talk truly makes your relationship better rather than taking a hard fall. I give my parents SO much credit for taking me to 4 different treatment centers within the 4 years I was struggling. They came to visit me, attended family sessions, and we worked together to figure out how to improve “family life” back at home that may have been a “trigger” for me. (hate that word, lol, sorry)

Explain to them what is going on in your head. Let them know that you did not ask for an eating disorder- NO ONE DOES! But recognizing it and having a support system to help you fight for your life back is the greatest gift you can receive.

Keep in mind, you DO NOT need to be underweight or taken to the hospital to suffer from an eating disorder. Absolutely not. Do not wait until you get to that point because let me tell you, it’s no fun. It is not glorious, you will regret getting to that point as it will serve you nothing for your future or your health. Fight it before it spirals out of control. Fight it so you don’t have to wake up every morning freezing and frail. Fight it so you will have healthy hormones. Fight it, but don’t fight it alone.

Dealing With Stress

As you all know, I am a college student. That being said, stress is quite the friend of mine. I am taking really time-consuming classes such as anatomy, lab, algebra, english, public speaking, and some university experience class.
There is never a time I am notΒ  working on a paper or a project of some sort. I also have joined 2 groups that require volunteer hours and I must show up to their weekly meetings.

There is just not enough hours in the day…..

I am finally getting into the routine of things and figuring out when I have time for eating and socializing.

Just because I feel like crawling into a ball and crying because of the amount of things that need to be done, I take deep breaths and reassure myself. Instead of looking at the big picture, I take it day by day. I make a list of all the things I need to do in one day and focus on that. I’ll deal with tomorrow when it comes.

It’s okay to cry. I think I have done it at least once a week since I have moved in and ITS OKAY! Bottling up your emotions only leads to break downs in the long run and snapping at someone at someone innocent. (I know I am guilty of that)

I don’t take out my feelings on my eating habits. Eating intuitively is new to me I will admit, but I am listening to my body even though I question myself a lot. If I am still hungry after eating, I grab a snack or dessert to satisfy me. Without being fully satisfied, you might obsessively think about food until the next time you eat. It’s also OKAY to eat a spontaneous treat that you are not hungry for. That is called balance.

Β NO REGRATS!!!

I do sincerely apologize for neglecting my blog. But realistically, by the time I am finished with my day and all my work, I have a snack and lights out! Sleep is one of the key factors of success in college. For sure.

I hope to update again shortly!

Anyone have any blog topics you would like me to write about!?

How I’ve Grown

lovee

It’s amazing how much one can change in the span of one year.

I used to be the girl that threw away food when no one was looking, now I’m the girl that licks the plate.

I used to think of all the ways to burn calories, now I can focus on things that matter in life.

I don’t force myself to go on a walk if I don’t want to

I let myself eat things off my plate before I sit down at the table

I don’t plan meals ahead, I eat intuitively

I enjoy a good nap every now and again

I can eat at restaurants without just ordering a salad and really enjoy it

I don’t think twice about eating a meal or a snack

I don’t religiously do crunches all day, it’s a waste of time

I take way less pictures of my body

I wear clothes that make me feel good, not to show off or hide away my body

I voice if I’m struggling instead of lying to myself

I don’t want to be skinny, I want to be strong

I don’t want a model body, I want to find true happiness

Change doesn’t happen overnight, it is a process and it’s worth it ❀

WIAW: Intuitive Eating

Happy Wednesday everyone! I am sorry I haven’t been keeping up at much with this blog. But this is a good thing. I am doing more with my life and finding what makes me more happy. However, I was able to take a day to show you all what I ate.

I started off by going to the dining hall with some girls on my floor. I got some pancakes with vanilla yogurt and some fantastic spiced quinoa porridge with lots of cinnamon added!

This held me over for a long day of classes.

I decided to join my friends for lunch at the campus restaurant. It has so many options and I love variety! I got the chicken ranch wrap with grilled vegetables. It looks a lot smaller than it was because they use huge plates! 

When I finished my last class of the day I was sooo hungry! My body was craving something sweet so I picked my favorite vanilla almond luna bar and the rest of my carton of blueberries.   I don’t usually eat alone unless other people are busy so I grabbed dinner with one of my friends. I enjoy the dining hall the best because there are lots of options to try new things. I got chicken, spinach tomoto orzo, black beans, peas and my favorite veggie of all- broccoli πŸ™‚  If I have a lot of work to do, I end up having something dense so I don’t spend too much time eating. I’m learning to be okay with having 2 bars in one day if it sounds good or if I need it.  Chocolate things are always welcome to me so I had these plus some milk. If you haven’t had these Justin’s almond butter and pretzel packs, they are delicious! I find them at Target☺️

  So tell me….

Are you an intuitive eater?

Favorite Luna bar flavor?

Never Giving Up

start

Sometimes, we lose motivation. We don’t feel like there isn’t any reason to get better, stay better, to eat, to be social, to have fun like everyone else. But your life has sooooo many reasons and you are still entitled to all of those things despite those temporary emotions. There is always a reason to keep fighting.

Your family

They love you unconditionally. Whether you have a good or bad relationship, there is always going to be love there. You were brought into this world for a very good reason. They want nothing more than to see you rise above your obstacles and achieve great things. I don’t think I would be the person I am today without them.

You are stronger than you think

struggle

All it takes is the internal motivation and power. You can do so many things that you tell yourself you can’t. It may take lots of practice and set backs but progress is far better than standing still or going back. Take some time and recognize what you have achieved and be your own cheerleader.

Prove the haters wrong

There will always be people that don’t believe in you. Prove them wrong. Go the extra mile because I will tell you there is nothing better and more self-satisfactory than beating something you once thought impossible.

Be patient

It takes time. I have heard that it takes 21 days to form a habit. That’s almost a MONTH! But if you keep pushing and pushing for those first uncomfortable days or weeks, it will be SO WORTH THE PUSHING! Deep breaths really help πŸ™‚

Remember the ones that have it worse

As sad as it is, there are people out there with absolutely nothing, They have to beg for money, food, and shelter every day. Be happy that you don’t have to go through that, Count your blessings.

If other people can do it- SO CAN YOU

obstacles Don’t play the “helpless victim” and cheat your own self. You have the power just like every other soul. Take care of your self and don’t wait or expect others to do it for you. Believe in yourself and don’t rely on people pleasing. You know it is possible. It doesn’t have to be a dream.