WIAW + Casual Sunday Nothingness

With me trying to cut back from my social media use, I have been posting less every day eats on Instagram for the sake of my own mental sanity. I love being able to support as many people as I can but it can be really draining always feeling like I “need” to post. That’s why I’ve put together a full day of eats for you all that took place on Sunday!

Breakfast: Sundays are for resting, sleeping in, and enjoying time with my family when they don’t have to work. It’s funny to think sleeping in for me is 7:30 am…. I blame school and my internal clock. Nevertheless, if I get tired later on I make sure to take a nap πŸ™‚ Luckily, I prepared some yummy coconut overnight oats the night prior and they were SO THICK! I got the recipe from a good friend of mine (Abby you know who you are) and I will for sure be making these again. Topped it with blueberry hemp granola and a dollop of white chocolate coconut cashew butter.I also had some bread n butter because I am trying to increase my intake and every little bit more to meals counts πŸ˜‰

oa

Since the weather has been sunny and strangely not super cold, my mom and I ventured to a trail not too far from home and took a nice walk. Being outside and getting fresh air really clears my mind and just makes me feel great!

fi

Lunch: After our walk, I really wasn’t hungry but knew I had to have lunch regardless. Settled for some cold pizza that my fam had the night prior and to be honest, cold pizza isn’t too bad. I am definitely more a fan of it hot but it reminds me of my childhood πŸ™‚

pizza

I got my hair all did after lunch…. Let’s just say I’m not a fan and will spare you all the picture (didn’t even take one) Not that it’s so terrible but they never seem to get it right. I like my hair tousled and wavy but they do the opposite….

Snackyy: I was craving something sweet (which I usually do for snacks) so I had a bowl of cinnamon oatmeal squares with “protein milk”. I haven’t tried this before but people give it a lot of hype and it wasn’t bad. Also two cutie clementines straight outta the fridge.

cereal

For the milk, just mix 1 cup milk with a scoop of whey protein powder of your choice. I chose vanilla πŸ™‚

Dinner: I have had a recipe for Garlic Tomato Chicken meatballs for a long time but hadn’t tried it yet. I’m always so skep about trying new ones not knowing if it will turn out okay and having my family eat it! But these were DELICIOUS! Both my brother and my dad complimented it and they are just so picky. I paired it with a big heaping of quinoa chickpea blend with sauteed spinach and veggies. I love meatballs πŸ˜‰

quinoa

Nightly Snackin: For the longest time, I have ALWAYS had a night snack. It helps me sleep better and I have been in recovery on and off for 5 years… so snacks are needed and my body likes the fuel. I know even once I am fully weight restored, I will still eat the same way I do now. Perks of speeding your metabolism up πŸ˜‰ I more often then not end it with a sweet tooth so I made a yogurt bowl with chia seeds, more blueberry granola (seriously addicted right now), sliced banana, and a big spoonful of almond butter! I may have snacked on some buttersnap pretzels as well because my mom loves those and now I can see why!! ❀hhh

Do you have a favorite granola brand?

Sweet or Salty foods?

 

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?

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 ❀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update on life lately! 12/14/15

Hey guys! Long time no post. Well let me tell you, college definitely kicked my booty this semester. I really went in with a good attitude and was in a great place in my recovery. I had just reached a minimum healthy weight and planned to maintain it and just focus on school and my social life. The first 2 months went pretty well… I was eating out a lot with people I didn’t know and breaking out a lot of my comfort zone. However, stress had a way of creeping into my life really quick.

I am going to be honest with you all and say the intake I was consuming before college had dropped when I started school for a few reasons. First, my schedule had been ALL over the place because I had joined 3 groups plus the busy every day routine I had. It became way too much for my brain to handle. I found at the end of the day my intake was just not where it needed to be.

I really did not have intentions on losing weight. Nada, just no. I was finally at a place where I could accept my body but I tried to intuitive eat and it just didn’t work. Not sure if I am just not ready or what because I wasn’t feeding myself enough for my body’s needs.

Luckily, I only dropped like 2 pounds. I don’t weigh myself hardly ever because the number doesn’t play a huge role in my life but I was curious one day to see if I was on track. No worries because I am going to spend my holiday break increasing my intake and weight back where it needs to be. I even plan on gaining a few more pounds to not be at the “minimum”.

It has been a solid 5 years without a normal menstrual cycle and boy do I desperately need that back. Whether or not I plan to have kids someday, the option would be nice and obviously if my body is not giving me any signs of hormones, I am not healthy enough. While it does scare me to imagine myself bigger when I already see a healthy enough person in the mirror, I know what needs to be done.

Aside from all that mumble jumble, I am home for a good 5 weeks and feel soooo happy! I get to cook again (which is obviously something I adore) and see my family more often. No need for stressing about deadlines, and sleeping in sounds amazing. I am going up north for Christmas to see my extended family but other than that I don’t plan on doing much but working on my goals.

So I want to ask you….

Has anyone else had to go through this?

What is your favorite Christmas movie?

 

 

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.

WIAW: First week in college

  Hey guys! I am going to show you all a day in the life at college. Last week was very laid back and we had a lot of meetings to attend. 

 I started off my morning with an english muffin with cream cheese, microwaved egg whites and raspberries and banana. I sat in the lounge so I wouldn’t wake up my roommate. 

 I have been trying a lot of the places around campus besides the dining hall. This place called JuiceBlendz is awesome! I got a turkey club with a strawberry mamba smoothie. I think the smoothie has yogurt, strawberries, honey and something else I don’t really remember…. I took this before sitting outside with the girls on my floor πŸ™‚

 We had a small break in between meetings so I went back and had a quick snack of peanut butter crackers. My roommate gave them to me since she has a whole box and this is before I went grocery shopping. 
For dins I grabbed a burrito bowl with a friend. It had chicken, cheese,  beans and a bunch of other stuff on a bed of brown rice! Pretty good I must say but I’m disappointed that guac isn’t apart of the meal plan and would have been extra.  My eating schedule has definitely been different every single day. Being flexible is very important in college and it’s a good skill to have for life in general. I don’t remember how late it was but I had a chocolate cookie from Subway.  

Gaining More Than Pounds

ds

Recovering is not just about the weight. Recovering is fighting for your actual life back as well. Fighting a nasty disorder brings out a whole new person. You might not be the same person you were before but it’s because you have gone through a life changing situation. Nothing in the world wrong with that- take what you know and use that knowledge to make you a better person.

Awesome Recovery Perks:

  • Strong, shiny hair
  • Being able to have a genuine smile and laugh
  • Curves are hot, Bones are not!
  • A face full of life and color
  • Double D’s and juicy doubles (lol….. sadly not for me)
  • Not having to set the house to 80 F to feel warm
  • Better sleep and sleeping In
  • My period! (almost there)
  • Not spending hours of your day worrying about food and working out
  • Developing relationships
  • Loving your body
  • Spontaneous meals
  • DESSERT
  • Walking up the stairs without feeling like you are dying
  • Shaving arm pits because they were too concave before 
  • You heal so much faster!
  • You are able to tan- being nutrient and vitamin deficient from unproper nutrition makes it impossible to get a nice tan (vitamin D)
  • Creativity. I totally lost the will to get creative and do productive things that made me happy
  • Motivation. I don’t always feel motivated but when I am, I am more able to do the task right.
  • Shopping is…. FUN? YES! Body confidence is tricky but you know how amazing it is to try on clothes and it actually fits instead of making you feel more sad. Empowering.

I know there are far more spectacular things I probably didn’t mention but these are definitely positive perks I have discovered by sticking to recovery. It wasn’t easy at all, but nothing ever truly worth it is a piece of cake (pun intended). It can be difficult to remember all the amazing things you are gaining when it seems like the weight is the only thing but I promise you it’s not! You are becoming more and more beautiful the closer you get to healthy. ❀

Get Angry

angry

It’s time to get angry.

Get angry at your eating disorder.

Stop yelling at your parents and loved ones for trying to help.

Stop blaming and feeling sorry for yourself.

Stop isolating because you think you have no friends.

Stop acting like there’s no way out.

Get angry. Fight the evil disorder that is taking your life away. Get so mad for all the times it kept you from being happy.

You have the control now, you really do.

Stop dragging your tired body out for runs when all it wants is rest. Sleep in.

Eat the damn cookie, eat peanut butter out of the jar, go for a third slice of pizza. Make IT angry.

You can spend years trying to hold on to it, or you can choose to destroy what has been destroying you. Choice is yours and I hope you get angry.

spo

Extreme Hunger

When I first started refeeding my body with an adequate amount of nutrition (3000 calories a day), I felt extremely full a lot of the time. However, there were times whether between meals or right before a meal that I felt STARVING. It was a feeling of if I didn’t get food soon I would get really irritable, shaky, and the not-so-attractive hangry.Β I remember the feeling all to well.

It happened more so when I was out shopping or doing errands I would be begging my mom to go get some food. Extreme hunger is not something to be scared or ashamed of. When people go through this, they may end up eating anywhere from 3500-6000 calories a day. It is in fact a normal phase in recovery. Some people never experience it, others it may happen a lot of times. This is another sign to show that we are all so very different and have different needs.

kitre

When your body has been restricted for so long, it goes into a “survival mode“. It slows basic biological functions and takes energy from your tissues, brain, bones, muscles, and organs just to survive. It is SO important to honor those hunger cues and EAT. Don’t ignore the hunger because you are afraid of “gaining weight” or “losing control”. Your body is giving you a clear sign that it’s trying to get back to it’s optimal weight and repair some damage. Studies have shown that no matter how much you decide to eat to recover, your body will eventually want to get to it’s “set point” in order for it to function properly. Sure you can choose to gain weight on a little amount. The downside to this is you’ll be stuck with a very slow metabolism 😦

Feeding the extreme hunger is NOT A BINGE. There is a huge difference between eating because your body needs it and with eating a days worth of food to the point of no return. You will not develop a binge eating disorder by listening to your body. It’s all part of the tough mental and physical parts of recovering, but this is what needs to happen in order to fully heal. You will eventually start feeling more content after meals and the strong cravings go down the longer you maintain a healthy recovery amount.

Trust me when I say that I was terrified too. I thought I was never going to stop eating and keep gaining and gaining. It’s a totally irrational side of the disorder that is trying to play games with you.

Secondly, let’s say your extreme hunger has calmed down and you are eating around 2,800-3,500 calories a day, and you are still gaining. Once you reach your natural weight; your optimum setpoint, you will stop gaining, and you will maintain on the same amount of calories.Β If you are experiencing extreme hunger, trust that your body knows what it’s doing and let it do what it needs to do.

I’m not a professional or a doctor, I am just sharing what I know through experience and from my own research. I hope this topic cleared up any questions you may have had but if not you can email me at:

Emlove814@gmail.com