Archive | October, 2012

Some Sunday Joy

28 Oct

Hello lovelies! 🙂

I know it’s very rainy and dark in most places right now due to Sandy (everyone stay safe, please! <3), so here is some joy to brighten your day! This is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. It reminds us what’s important in life.

 

 

Wasn’t that just the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen?!

You are beautiful.

Life is full of possibilities.

And of course,

Food is a constant positive in your life.

Take time to nurture yourself today, both physically and emotionally. ❤

 

Much love and health,

Lauren xo

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How to make recovery easier: A guide

25 Oct

Recovery is daunting. It’s honestly terrifying. It’s like you’re standing at the opening of a massive, dark cave which seems like it has the potential to swallow you up any second. You’re trembling as you begin to take your first steps forward and you feel like there is no way you can ever make it out the other side alive.

Well folks, I’m here to tell you that you CAN. No matter where you are coming from, how deep you’ve dug yourself down- recovery IS possible. Even if you think that you’re ‘worse than everyone else,’ you’re ‘not strong enough to recover,’ or you’re ‘too far gone/too crazy.’ I’m here to tell you that you are wrong. That’s right, I said it. YOU, Miss Perfectionist, are wrong. WRONG-O. And isn’t that just AWESOME!? To be wrong about something like this? Thinking that you can’t recover when you in fact can? BOOM. Imma callin’ you out.

Alright, so now what? Well… Let’s make ourselves a little list. A recovery guide, if you will.

*Disclaimer: These are simply a few of the MANY things which aided in MY OWN recovery. This list is not a supplement for professional help. If you’re currently struggling with an eating disorder, please contact a medical doctor, psychotherapist and/or registered dietician to aid you in your own recovery.* 

1) Stop reading food/fitness blogs. *Gasp.* That’s right, I said it. I turned against my people. But I feel it’s necessary in the beginning stages of recovery. You don’t need to spend all day looking at food, reading about someone else’s work-out regime, critiquing their choices, their bodies, their exercise. THEM…Not you. We don’t need to get confused, or fall into the comparison trap. Focus on YOU.

2) Get off all Pinterest food boards, exercise/health/fitness boards. And for the LOVE OF GOD- Get off thinspo and other promotional sites. I don’t need to tell you why. You KNOW why…

3) Find your person. This is the person that can inspire you to recover. Your person can be YOU. You can choose to recover for yourself, your future, your goals, your passions. However, for many, the beginning stages of recovery are very dark and we often need inspiration or motivation to recover for someone else. If this is the case for you, do it for your parents, your sister/brother, your Mother who passed away years ago, your Grandpa, a teacher, anyone. Just pick someone, and hold onto their mental image for dear life. They are literally saving you when you aren’t yet able to save yourself.

4) Write a Life Bucket List. What do you want to do with your life? You want to be a lawyer, buy a farm, start your own company? Awesome! You want to go skinny dipping in the ocean, sky diving, fall in love, have kids? YES! This is the fire we need! Write down all the reasons as to why you want to live. There are plenty, trust me.

5) Compile a list of your favourite quotes/inspirational sayings/affirmations, write them in coloured marker on pieces of white paper and paste them up on your walls. Found on my walls in the beginning were, “I nourish my body with nutrients AND pleasure.” Or, “A nourished body equals a strong mind.” And, “Food is a constant positive in my life.” (I still use that last affirmation to this day!).

6) Quit it with the healthy, satiety-inducing foods. People with ED’s are mastermind’s at knowing which foods will stifle hunger for the least amount of calories/fat/carbs yadda, yadda, yadda without leading to a significant feeling of full-ness. If you are in the very beginning stages of recovery, drinking protein shakes and eating plain greek yogurt, broccoli, egg whites and lettuce, is going to make it hard. You’re trying to REV UP your appetite- not diminish it. This is especially important for breakfast. You know how all the studies say  that “eating eggs for breakfast can reduce your appetite for the rest of the day causing you to eat less?” Well? Do I need to spell it out? DON’T EAT EGGS FOR BREAKFAST. Actually, let me re-phrase that. Do not eat foods which you personally find extremely satiating.  You want to regain your appetite, not diminish it. It’s already non-existent enough.  You want to ensure you get a tickle of hunger every few hours, just to make eating easier. I found for me, the only way to do that was through one of the scariest foods- cereal. It was literally my go to in the beginning of recovery. When I would eat it for breakfast, it would elicit some sort of hunger response a few hours later, unlike protein oats or egg whites would. And so I would be more inspired to then eat lunch. And so on. Positive feedback cycle, yo.

7) TALK. I cannot stress this enough. EVERY.SINGLE.THING. that I ever endured in my life was broken apart and analyzed, whether it seemed significant or not. Bare your soul. Do not hold anything back. If you were to die tomorrow, you want to know that there would be at least one person/therapist out there who would know all of your secrets. When you keep what may appear as ‘little things’ bottled up, they eat away at you. They hinder your recovery. They can even PREVENT your recovery. Now, I’m not going to lie. This is BRUTAL. I’m talking, “I’m-think-I’m-going-to-vomit-if these-words-actually-come-out-of -my-mouth” tough. But when they do? Awwwhhhhhhhhh…the relief. Ohhh, the sweet, sweet relief. PURE JOY.

8) Connect with nature and animals. Animals are HUGE. I truly believe they are nature’s healers. Just looking at a picture of a puppy makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. There is actually an in-patient treatment center in Arizona, which I contemplated attending, which assigns you to your own horse throughout your treatment process. You care for your horse, ride it, and in the process it teaches you more about life than you could have ever imagined. So go outside and pet your neighbours dog. Heck, hold a stuffed animal dog while you eat your meals. Go sit in the grass. Hug a tree. Literally, re-grow your own roots. Become part of this universe again and get out of your own head.

9) Stop exercising. Nope, I don’t want to hear it. Just stop.

NO.

Mm-mm.

Seriously. STOP.

10) If it feels right (and only if it truly does), change something about your appearance, such as your hair. For me, dying my hair dark brown within the first month of my recovery  felt like a re-birth. The change I so desperately wanted to occur on the inside was manifesting it self on the outside. I was the ‘new me.’ I was going to become the healthy Lauren. And it was exciting.

11) If you’re attempting to recover on your own without outside medical help from either an inpatient or outpatient program, you need to have tremendous family support. And I mean TREMENDOUS. You also need to be able to come up with your own meal plan, or at least some kind of list of meal and snack options that you will stick to. And actually follow it.

12) Have a bedtime snack. You need it. Your metabolism can speed up throughout the night. Your blood sugar  can plummet. Your hormones can go all wonky. This explains why so many who struggle from anorexia have such trouble sleeping. They wake up in the night nauseous, anxious and agitated. Having a snack before bed will relax your body (maybe not your mind, but your BODY, meaning your actual physiology) and it will help to keep your appetite going so that when you wake up in the morning, you will be hungry for breakfast.

13) Laugh. Sounds so simple, I know. But seriously, find things that make you laugh. These can be movies, websites, people, anything! Just laugh. And smile 🙂 Laughter is so cathartic.

14) HUG those you love! The power of touch is severely underestimated. And I am by no means referring to this from a sexual perspective. I’m talking just a basic hug from your sister. A big bear hug from your Dad. That feeling that you get when you hug your Mom and you just let yourself sink into her. You are safe. The oxytocin is being released. You will feel calmer and stronger.

15) Give yourself time. This is a long journey. It takes time. Every day is an adventure. Respect your fears, but don’t let them leave you stagnant. You’re too strong not to move forward. Once you’ve built your recovery foundation, take baby steps forward to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Add a tablespoon more of food to one meal. Then to two meals. Add in another snack. Stop drinking so much water to fill you up. Start fueling yourself with food instead. You’ll feel a bajillion times better.

Now, this is by no means is an extensive list and I urge anyone struggling to seek help from professionals (even if that means just seeing a therapist, as opposed to entering an in-pateint program).  But you need to start somewhere. Sometime. What’s wrong with today? When have you had enough? You can do it, I know you can. You will make it out the other side of the dark cave. And let me tell you…There is a fabulous world out there just waiting to see you and ALL that you have to offer 🙂

Much love and health,

Lauren xo

More Inspiration

21 Oct

Get after it… That’s all I have to say. Whether it’s recovery, a job, an exam. You’ll figure it out. Just GO.

 

 

Much love and health,

Lauren xo

Friday Inspiration

19 Oct

Hello! 🙂

I am still swamped with work, but wanted to give you all a little inspiration. So applicable to recovery…

 

One mistake/hiccup/’labour pain’ does not mean that you are taking a step backwards. You may in fact being taking a step forwards. Your disorder is simply reminding you of what life used to be like. But you’ve been there. You know what it’s like. And you don’t need to go back there. EVER.

Here is a great song to tie in with this idea…Apply it to something in your life you want to rid yourself of- be it a romantic relationship, friendship, toxic relationship with your self, your relationship with your eating disorder, whatever. I would like to thank Chelsie for introducing me to this song and it’s relevance to recovery (even though that’s not it’s intended meaning. Ha!).

Keep on shining your light and showing the world the true, authentic, YOU!!!! ❤

Much love and health,

Lauren xo

Awesome-ness

14 Oct

Hello beautiful people!!!

I’m currently in the midst of studying for midterms, but I urge you all to go and check out this post by my girl, Chelsie!!! It’s a good one 🙂

Hope everyone is having a lovely fall weekend! Take excellent care of yourselves ❤

Much love and health,

Lauren xo

 

Let’s marvel in fabulous fall

10 Oct

I LOVE fall. Like, the infatuation I feel towards fall, and everything that comes along with it cannot be quantified. I am unable to accurately articulate my true degree of fall obsession. No words can portray the extent of it. Red, orange and yellow leaves turn me into a giddy little girl. Family channel Halloween movies bring me a sense of calm and comfort like NO other (I don’t care that I’m 22). The smell of fall embraces me like a tender hug, soothing my soul, making me feel loved and  content. Hot drinks, apple picking, jumping in a pile of freshly raked leaves, homemade apple crisp, hiking. I just can’t get enough. And all of the holidays that come along with fall? Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas (ok, I guess that’s ‘winter,’ but whatever). Fall is where its at, people.

I think we need to take a moment here. For fall. We’re all so busy all the time, caught up in ourselves, deadlines, obligations, rules, that we often forget to simply relish in the moment. Appreciate the crisp fall breeze and the leaves crunching under our feet as we jet around from class to class. Next time you’re rushing off somewhere take a moment and bring yourself into your present space. Watch the squirrel scurry around, the gleeful child jump rope. Notice the little joys in life, appreciate them and soak them up. They matter. They can make a huge difference in terms of how you feel and your entire outlook on life. One little moment of presence and clarity can elevate your day. It’s really that simple.

Awhhh. Pictures of the fall landscape just make me exhale. 🙂 It’s as if my body just falls into itself. Like all of the chaos of the day disappears for one moment. My soul, which has been slightly lifted above my body can just sink back home, if only for a moment.

Are you a fan of fall? What things in your life bring you joy, elicit excitement and make you come home to the true, authentic YOU. I’d love to hear 🙂

Much love and health,

Lauren xo

Shame, shame and more shame

10 Oct

Those who have suffered from eating disorders tend to occasionally bounce back and forth between feelings of both an unfounded sense of achievement and shame. I am terrified that people will find out about my past and think I am some ‘messed up nut.’ However, sometimes a teeny-weeny-teeny-tiny  part of me (I feel the need to really emphasize the teeny-tinyness) can feel a perverse sense of pride or achievement when I look back at pictures of my self at my lowest weight. “Look at what I was capable of…Look how strong I was…” and all of the other garbage I (*ED*) tell myself. The accurate word would be sick, not strong, Lauren.  With these thoughts then comes the shame. “How can you be proud of  looking so sick? You look so unhealthy in these pictures.” And then, as I already mentioned, there is the shame that can arise when you are worried others will find out about your past and your disorder. Your secret will be revealed and you are terrified. Your ‘image’ will be ruined. Other’s opinion of you will be permanently, forever changed. They won’t want to be friends with you anymore. They’ll think you’re ‘crazy.’ Ya know, realistic stuff like that.

I have a secret. NO ONE besides my parents, sister, and one of my closest friends (Hi, Heather!) know about this blog. And to be honest, when Heather found out about it (through seeing me comment with my link on another blog she reads), I was absolutely mortified. A sobbing mess. I was so upset, I actually denied it was my blog at first. Bad, embarrassing, ridiculous. I know. Did she already know about my eating disorder? Yes (*I think*). See, right there- that’s my problem. I think people never knew there was a problem. Like they couldn’t see me or something. I thought I was fooling everyone. I still don’t believe that most people knew or even suspected a problem. I still don’t believe it now. I was talking to my family about this over the weekend at home and I was SHOCKED when they said, ‘Everyone already knew about your eating disorder and they would think this blog is great.’ Whaaa? People knew? They know!? Ahhhhhhhh! And if anyone were to inadvertently find out about this blog? The thought makes me feel like my head is going to explode. I am terrified that they will find out about 1) My ‘problems’ (however, apparently they already know? I’m so confused…) 2) Be privy to my most intimate thoughts. I guess I just feel best sharing my deepest thoughts with all you rando’s. JK, I love you all! ❤

And I should clarify- I’m not talking about extended family here. I know they’re aware. I’m talking about other people in my life- those I used to dance with, acquaintances, other friends who I never told.

So, the question I have to ask is, why am I so ashamed of my eating disorder? Yes, they are horrific illnesses to endure, but something to be so embarrassed about? Is that rational? Is that healthy? Does it promote a positive, complete recovery? I think keeping this secret in can make it seem bigger than it actually is. Will people’s opinion of me change if they know? Doubtful, and if it does change for the negative, I don’t want that person in my life. Will my friendships cease once they learn my secret (if they didn’t already figure it out themselves)? Probably not. If they are a true friend, nothing will change. We may even become closer. Opening up about our own struggles can allow others to feel safe to do the same.

Now, am I going to go around telling everyone about my eating disorder? HAAIILLL NO. But, if there is someone that I get close to, either a friend or someone I’m dating, I feel like it’s important to be able to open up about this topic, especially since so many men and women are currently suffering from eating disorders. No one talks about it. Well, not no one, but not nearly enough. And positive recovery techniques/protocols are not discussed. Resources out there (such as blogs) are not promoted in the mainstream media.

I’m realizing this all ties into my fear of what others think of me, my fear of not being accepted, not being liked or being rejected. I’ve always altered myself for others, instead of just being unapologetically Lauren. This needs to stop. I need to be ME, no questions asked. I’m starting to learn through recovery that I actually LIKE myself. Like woah. Big deal people. And so, if I actually LIKE ME, then why would I alter myself or not be the true me, all in the name of someone else? Ya, that doesn’t sound very bright.

So, will the shame regarding my eating disorder disappear overnight? No. It is something I need to work through. And something that I’m not exactly sure how to go about doing. Does sharing your story lift some of the shame? I don’t know. So I need your help, friends.

How were you able to let go of the shame surrounding your eating disorder? What did you do to help you feel more comfortable with ALL aspects of your self? Both the dark and the light…Past and present? Any advice is welcome! 

Much love and health,

Lauren xo