Archive | September, 2012

Imma do, what imma do!

29 Sep

This girl is completely amazing. And this video is SO true!!! Be a DO-ER!!!

Get out there and DO, friends!!!!

Much love and health,

Lauren xo

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You, yes YOU are AWESOME!

28 Sep

We spend so much time looking for our faults, punishing ourselves, putting ourselves down. When was the last time you thought something nice about yourself? I mean something truly, genuinely great that you didn’t immediately backtrack in your head with a, “Ya, but…” retort. This needs to stop.

I have a challenge for us all. Every day, and I mean EVERYDAY, you must come up with at least five things you love about yourself. This can be anything from your sense of humour, your nurturing personality, your awesome sense of style, your sparkling green eyes, your strong shoulders, your sick dancing skills- anything. Whether it pertains to your body, your personality, your morals, your abilities- if you think they’re great, they are!

I have recently been acutely aware of how much I put myself down, how much I walk around campus looking at the ground. I feel like people are constantly looking at me, judging my every move, analyzing my every facial expression. Is that actually happening? Um, no. Who do I think I am!? That’s not self-compassionate. I’m not that important. Wrong again. How about, “Who the f%$k cares what people think, and if they are looking at me, look them in the eye, smile and stand proud.” That sounds better 🙂

Everyday I will tell myself five awesome things about my self and I will walk around with purpose- walk like I mean it. Not trying to cower in the background, self-consciously biting my lip (and not in a sexy 50 Shades of Grey way). I don’t like feeling like this…Do you? I bet not. I want to walk around feeling strong, proud and beautiful. Proud of who I am and who I am becoming. Because I’m pretty great (I think). Correction: I’M AWESOME. Say it with me, friends.

Love the body you’re in, and more importantly love who you are as a PERSON. You’re a funny, bright, witty, creative, nurturing, patient, loving, AWESOME person. Don’t let your thoughts tell you otherwise, cause remember…Who’s in charge of those thoughts? That’s right- YOU 🙂

Let me know how this challenge goes! I know you can do it 🙂

Much love and health,

Lauren xo

Edited to add: I bought cream cheese tonight. You know what that means…That is all 😉

Food Bucket List

27 Sep

Yikes! I have not blogged since…September 13…and that just makes me sad! I find blogging to be so cathartic and was just getting into my blogging groove, if you will, and then BAM, school started. I want to make a blogging a priority (not above school, of course, but one nonetheless) and try to post a few times a week. Sound good? Good. 🙂

So, I’m not sure if any of you have checked out my ‘Food Bucket List’ yet. It’s at the top of the page right by my ‘About’ and ‘Why the Homeostatic Mindset’ tabs. This Food Bucket List is something I created, yet, never TRULY felt I could ever accomplish. It was kind of just a nice goal, but one which I thought was completely unrealistic. I honestly didn’t even want to try to attempt the things on the list…I thought just making the list was good enough. HA. Umm, in the words of Dwight Schrute, “False.”

Well, all of that has changed recently, thankyouverymuch. Through reading other blogs on eating disorder recovery, more specifically really, one blog, (Hi Chelsie!), I realized that although I have gained the necessary weight and I am eating, I am still extremely rigid and calculated when it comes to what I am ‘allowed’ to eat. I eat virtually the same, oh, 10 things every day. And that’s not eating for recovery. That’s eating for living-and-breathing purposes, but not eating for living life. And I want to live life. I want to go out with friends for ice cream, or randomly stop at Starbucks and get a Pumpkin Spice Latte. And so that’s exactly what I did.

I was downtown with my Momma driving around and we had a few hours to kill. I mentioned that maybe we should go get Pumpkin Spice Latte’s, seeing as they were on my bucket list. (I dedicate this challenge to you, Heather!). Once my Mom heard ‘bucket list,’ she was on the hunt for a Starbuck’s, not to mention curious to try one of these famous latte’s for herself 😉 So we found a Starbuck’s and we both ordered a grande Pumpkin spice latte made with skim milk (I have not had cow’s milk in 12 years!) and 1 1/2 pumps of pumpkin spice syrup (other bloggers had recommended this for a better flavour/sweetness). I went and sat down and my Mom waited for our drinks. She came over carrying 2 massive white mugs filled with milky froth, sprinkled with cinnamon. (She asked them to put our drinks into mugs because she wanted it to be special and she said it would taste better in a mug <3). And so, feeling a trivial amount of fear (if any!) I took my first sip, and OHMYGOD. It was heavennnn. Let’s just say that I drank the whole thing down in 2 minutes flat with a ridiculous grin on my face, giggling the whole time. I made sure to get every.last.drop of the frothy goodness. 🙂 Afterwards, I leaned back in my chair and felt absolutely, completely calm and relaxed. I felt like I could drift off to sleep- and I had just had a good amount of caffeine! I looked at my Mom and said, “I feel so relaxed right now.” (Which I found shocking, by the way- not expected after a food/drink challenge). She just looked and me, smiled and said, “That’s what happens when you live your life.”

For some of you reading this, this may sound ridiculous (“I have latte’s everyday, NBD”), but to me, and those of you out there in recovery, this was HUGE. Not only did I cross something off my bucket list, but I crossed it off with a, shall we say, calm enthusiasm. Not an easy feat, my friends. I now feel motivated to cross all of the other stuff off my list!!! I already told me Mom that she “must” make an apple crisp next weekend when I go home for Thanksgiving. She obliged 😉 I also bought some gluten-free whole grain bagels, so the bagel challenge will be coming up soon. I tried to buy some cream cheese today, but they only had the big containers…and I don’t think I’ll need that much. 😛

I guess what I am trying to say is that every time you challenge your eating disorder, you win just a little bit more. Will the little ED in your head try to throw a little tantrum after it? Possibly. Mine did a few hours after my latte, but that just means that you fight harder and put it back in its place. And you focus on the GOOD. I could focus on the anxiety I created (that’s right, it did not spontaneously occur- I manifested it) hours after the latte that I had while eating dinner, but that doesn’t do anyone much good. I choose to focus on the latte experience because that FAR surpasses the dumb, anxious moment. Let’s direct our attention towards the good, not the bad. Build up Lauren and break down the eating disorder. It just gets in the way of living. And I have an amazing life to live.

Question: Have you challenged yourself recently, food or otherwise? How did you feel during/after it?

Much love and health,

Lauren xo

Annoyed

13 Sep

So, I’m starting to get annoyed… Annoyed with my “Oh my goodness, look at me, I’m so healthy meals.” Eating exclusively fruits & vegetables/salads, egg whites & eggs, salmon, nuts & nut butter, greek yogurt and *sometimes* quinoa (which I consider indulgent, seeing as it is a carb/wannabe grain/pseudograin) is getting me really frustrated with myself. It is too rigid, too healthy. Gasp! But yes, you can be too healthy and too obsessed with health. It’s called orthorexia. Now, I’m by no means saying that I am orthorexic (I’m definitely not), but it just feels too reminiscent of my ED days. And  it’s kind of making me feel like I want to scream.

I feel like eating disorders are such conniving little things that lead you to believe that you are getting better, but they are just tricking you. Yes, I am eating now, and I am fuelling my body adequately, BUT, I am being just as calculated and rigid about my eating in terms of WHAT I’m eating and what I’m ‘allowed’ to eat. Even more importantly, the anxiety I feel if I contemplate NOT following my rules is not normal or healthy. I feel too restricted, constricted and it’s really making me feel like, well… sh*t.

Chelsie’s post resonated with me today SO much. I totally feel like I  am in a straight jacket too, just like she said. I guess physically I feel great- how could I not feel great eating SO well, but emotionally? Yaaaa…that’s a different story. And I don’t even want to do anything crazy like go out an eat a massive brownie sundae or something like that. Nope. Just being able to have toast for breakfast, crackers at lunch and some quinoa at dinner would be an awesome start. And maybe a bowl of some vanilla bean coconut milk ice cream? 🙂

It can be difficult for me to differentiate between what Lauren wants to eat and what ED wants me to eat. I am usually better at being able to separate the two, but I think being back at school has my equilibrium a little thrown off. Plus, I am eating more fruit which was a big fear food for me. I know ridiculous, but I was terrified of all the sugar and carbs. I literally thought that I would gain 20 pounds overnight and lose all muscle tone and the lean look I worked so hard to achieve if I were to eat fruit. So dumb. Anyways, I have been challenging myself, allowing myself to have 2 servings of fruit a day and I am LOVING it! Bananas and almond butter, smoothies with frozen berries and vanilla protein powder, Macintosh apples #autumnlove, pears… It’s been very delicious 🙂 Facing this one fear makes ED all the more sophisticated however, as it can constantly remind me that we are challenging the ‘fruit-issue,’ and so I must be doing “so well,” when in reality, I have found other ways to gain my control back.  Enter the ‘Super healthy no grains eating plan.’ It makes me feel more in control, anxiety decreases (temporarily), and I feel back on track. However, I can feel the background level of anxiety building and I am certain that it is 100% due to food (it always is).

I have also been a little more lenient with meal and snack times which has been a pretty massive deal for someone like me. This has made me feel pretty darn strong. I’ve felt on fi-yah some days, like when I buy and eat lunch on campus, have a piece of salmon for an afternoon SNACK or eat dinner at 7:30pm and then another ‘snack’ of dark chocolate at nearly 10pm (aka, my bedtime #partyanimal). Like, who is this person!? There is such a dichotomy because I feel like on one hand I am KILLING it, challenging myself, and knocking ED out of the park, but on the other hand, I feel like I’m creating all these ‘new rules’ in order to ‘make-up’ for breaking down the old ones. However, what is AWESOME is that I am ON-TO this, which I LOVE. Gotchaaaa ED. Suckaaa 😉

So…what is my game plan now? I think that the best thing to do is simply follow my cravings and allow myself to eat what LAUREN wants. If I am craving eggs and salad, I will eat that, however, if I am craving a bowl of oatmeal with banana and PB, I’ll have that 🙂 And, I won’t go backwards and attempt to structure my meals more timing-wise since I am altering the contents of my meals. I will continue on breaking my own rules and NOT creating new ones. If I always just exchange my rules for another one, I’m not really getting any better. I don’t want to play a game of stagnant deception- always appearing to change, yet really just remaining in the same place. It’s not a fun game. I never win. And I reallyyyyy like to win 🙂

Question: How has your ED tried to gain control in sneaky ways? How did you overcome this and show ED who’s boss?

Much love and health,

Lauren xo

If you don’t like your thoughts, don’t spend time alone with them

8 Sep

Thoughts…thinking. Such a benign, yet terrifying activity. Thinking can feel like a very dangerous act for those of us with ED’s or anxiety whose thoughts often feel as if they are controlled by a separate voice. Furthermore, when we feel like our thoughts are becoming out of control, we often isolate ourselves from the world, believing that if we are alone, our ‘true’ voice or our ‘true self’ can overpower the scary thoughts. In reality, this rarely works.

At the beginning of my recovery, this is what I did. I would feel the thoughts swirling frantically around in my head, feel the panic rise up, and retreat up to my room alone in the hope that I could ‘sort it out on my own.’ WRONG. The panic would escalate 99% of the time. After attempting this tactic for about 2 months, I realized this did not work. I know, it took me a little while, but I was so determined to ‘not be dependent on anyone else,’ and ‘recover on my own,’ that I was insistent on making it work. However, I learned that, 1) Just because you ask for help, does not mean you are dependent on someone, and 2) Recovery requires a LOT of support- this does NOT mean I am weak. Thus, I came up with a sort of motto: “If I don’t like my thoughts, I don’t spend time alone with them.” It seems so simple, but it took me a while to believe it. I thought that I needed to let the ‘bad thoughts’ (aka, ED/anxiety voice) speak, hear what it had to say clearly, and then refute it. This gave the ‘bad thoughts’ wayyy too much power. I was giving them a voice, and they do not deserve any voice. They say nothing helpful or truthful to me whatsoever.

Now, whenever the ‘unhelpful voice’ starts to become louder (which usually happens after I have challenged my ED or anxiety #classic), I now seek people out, instead of retreating somewhere to be alone with my thoughts. Now, I want to be very clear, however- This does NOT mean that I am advocating blocking, repressing or avoiding thoughts, oh no. This definitely does NOT work and always winds up backfiring in the end. What I am saying is that when you are having completely irrational, anxious or obsessive thoughts, do NOT isolate your self to ‘deal with them on your own.’ Go out into the world. Go to the living room and hang out with your family or roommates, take a walk outside with a sibling or friend, or call someone if no one is around. A real, live person or people are best, but calling someone up to chat, not about your ridiculous irrational thoughts, but about random stuff works well too. Just don’t be alone. It’s pretty simple. If you didn’t like someone or something, you wouldn’t go and spend hours alone with them, so why do you do that with these thoughts? You don’t want to give them any power or strength- they deserve NOTHING.

Lastly, do not go out for a run/exercise vigorously in order to ‘clear your mind,’ or rid yourself of these thoughts. This is a trap– if you are TRULY honest with yourself, this is ED winning in some twisted, messed up way. You need to start being very truthful with your self when it comes to your motive for exercising. If ED is somehow driving it at all under the guise of some rational, socially accepted reason (ex. “Exercise decreases stress”), don’t go. ED can’t trick you… You’re too smart for that.

Much love and health,

Lauren xo

The body: Our greatest teacher

6 Sep

Often times (ok, most of the time), we look at our bodies as the enemy, the problem. If we could just get the body to be the shape and size we want, then we’ll be happy. We look at the body as the obstacle to living life to the fullest, when really, we wouldn’t even be here without our body. We look at ourselves as a body first, with someone living inside of it second, instead of looking at ourselves as people, humans or even souls FIRST and our bodies as being second.

I believe that the body is the window into the soul. Eating disorders are a screaming, in-your-face expression of inner turmoil which the SOUL is enduring, which the person is enduring. This may get a little too spiritual or ‘kooky’ for some of you, but I believe that the body alerts us of not just physical problems, but more importantly, alerts us of psychological distress, including stress and anxiety. When we’re stressed, we get sick. When we hold onto anger, cancer can manifest. Going back to first year university physics, energy cannot be destroyed- it is simply converted from one form into another. If you are feeling negative energy within you, you cannot destroy it, although you can rid yourself of it’s uncomfortable feelings by discussing your concerns and hence converting it into another form of energy, such as patience, for an example.

I am writing this post as I feel as though I am coming down with the flu- yet again. I have been experiencing many uncomfortable, physical sensations over the past few days. This can be especially hard for someone who is hyper-sensitive and acutely aware of every bodily nuance and feeling. It appears that there must be some sort of stress or anxiety bubbling under the surface which I am not completely aware of. I know this is true as the last semester of my undergraduate program began today. I am living away from home. I am away from my parents and sister. All new things. Changes. Good changes, may I add, but changes that shift my equilibrium, nonetheless.  This can be a hard situation when we are presented with clear warning signs from our body that something is off, yet we are not completely aware of our thoughts. Often times my thoughts tend to spin around in my head, playing and re-playing without my full consent, if that makes any sense. Clearly, I am making the choice to think negative or anxiety-provoking thoughts, yet if I am not cognizant of what I am telling myself, it can be hard to acknowledge the source of my physical manifestations.  I guess I just need to think very logically- “School is starting, you are away from home, and thus any stomach issues or flu-y feelings you have are likely the result of stress/adjusting to my ‘new life.'” End of discussion. Deep breath. Assure myself that everything will be ok, and move forward, grabbing this semester by the horns (so to speak, lol, so cheesy- sorry) and doing the best I can academically.

Life doesn’t have to be stressful. It doesn’t need to be full of concerns or problems or stressors. It can be as hard or as easy as you make it. Perspective is everything. A positive perspective= a happier person. Life can be FUN. It doesn’t have to be all work and schedules and rules. A regimented life isn’t a life worth living. I much prefer a go-with-the-flow, laughing till your stomach hurts, free spirit kind of life, no matter how ‘impossible’ that seems. I can picture all the type A’s out there covering their eyes and ears and shaking their head. But it is possible- I am a definite ‘type A,’ perfectionist, and although these characteristics feel ingrained within me, it is always my choice to live my life the way I want. If the way I am interpreting my world now doesn’t sit right with me, or leaves me with regrets, I know that I must make some changes. Don’t waste another second living a ‘perfect,’ boring life. Let your hair down, blast the music and dance like nobody’s watching. Take that soul of yours, encompassed within that awesome body and go out and LIVE. Your body may just reward you with a clean bill of health.

Much love and health,

Lauren xo