I was sick last weekend – awful. I was nauseated at work on Saturday, and when I got home I went to bed early. During the middle of the night I woke up and spent the next 2 hours vomiting. Sunday wasn’t much better as my stomach still wasn’t settled. Even on Monday, I wasn’t completely better. In fact, all week my stomach has been off. I chalked it up to anxiety over something. And today I’m better, but some foods still make my stomach turn.

I’m getting to my point. I didn’t feel up to much this week. Between being sick and the onset of my period, I haven’t been to yoga once. I practiced at home on Wednesday morning, but that’s about it. I also haven’t been eating well – in quality or quantity. So needless to say, I feel kind of crummy! It’s incredible how good, whole food can make you feel so wonderful. But right now – the thought of it makes me want to ralph. My mom made this cauliflower quinoa risotto dish that I usually LOVE. But just looking at it grosses me out. And it sucks.

So I went to Rhode Island yesterday for a quick visit to my old work, and my old church for the Maundy Thursday service. After the service I was saying my goodbyes and my good friend says to me “Are you eating?”. And I kind of laughed. I could honestly say “Yes I’m eating, but I did lose weight.” I’ve been home, practicing yoga regularly, walking, hiking with friends, eating clean about 85-90% of the time. But in the last 2 months I have lost about 10 pounds – without thinking about it. I knew when I moved home that I was heavier than I wanted to be, because my clothes weren’t fitting. But it wasn’t until I went to the gynecologist last month that I realized I was losing weight. 

And I had a flashback. To high school, to college. When this question used to be desired, but also dreaded. If they asked, they noticed I was losing weight. But if they asked that also meant they might have noticed that I wasn’t eating. And I was flooded with out of nowhere anxiety on the drive home. Am I ok? Am I going to fall back into my old habits? Is everyone going to think I have an eating disorder again? I knew all these thoughts were ridiculous but I couldn’t shake them.

I tried to laugh it off to myself. But I couldn’t help but be filled with stomach churning anxiety on the subject. Totally unwarranted. Seeing as I’m the one who is in control of my life. My EDNOS doesn’t control me anymore. It doesn’t dictate what I eat, how I feel, who I’m good enough for. I’m the only one who can decide these things.  I guess sometimes we all just need a little reminder. Nobody can make you feel anything you don’t want to feel. You are the only one who controls your reactions to situations. Sometimes it’s hard.

Sometimes you have feelings you think you can’t control – depression, anxiety. Sometimes you have feelings for a person that you think are so strong they could never go away – even if they aren’t reciprocated. But they’ll fade. If you let them go. If you surrender to happiness and health and well being you’ll find peace in yourself. I truly believe that.

Happy Good Friday & Have a BEAUTIFUL day!

Self-care on the road to Self-Love

We’ve all heard it before: nobody will be able to truly love you until you love yourself. 

I never knew if this was true or not, because I’ve loved friends who don’t fully love themselves yet. So maybe it’s time we change this saying around a bit. Nobody will fully love you until you TRY to love yourself.

TRY is a huge word to me. 

You can say you’re going to do your homework or get good grades; you can say you’re going to start eating better; you can say you’re going to keep up with your blog ;)…but it doesn’t matter unless you TRY. 

Self-love doesn’t come overnight. As you know if you’ve read my past blogs, I’ve never been one who has completely loved myself until recently. I was destroying myself slowly through starvation, bingeing and purging, and self-mutilation. Even though I somehow thought it was going to make everything better, I was NOT in a loving place with myself. 

But I got up every morning. And I TRIED. I sought out the help I needed, and I took the advice of my friends, family, and doctors. I TRIED every day to feed myself nutritious foods and put down the razor blade. And it was fucking hard. And it took a long time. It took relapses, and medication increases and days that I didn’t want to live. But guess what? I’m here. I’m a live and I LOVE MYSELF IN THIS MOMENT. 

I wish I could give you a step-by-step manual on how to get there. But I really can’t. But I do know that it starts and continues with self-care. I took the care to get help, but I also took the care to forgive myself when I relapsed or had a bad thought. Today, I take care to watch the content of what I put into my body – not in numbers of calories or fat grams but in wholesomeness – what chemicals am I ingesting? Is this a food that’s going to nourish me and benefit me?

I no longer strain myself at the gym – seeing as I HATE the gym. I practice yoga daily, I run around outside with the dog, and I walk frequently.  I get in my 30-45 minutes of moderate activity a day and I remember to treat myself well. If I’m tired, I rest. If I’m hungry, I EAT. Even if I just ate two hours ago. I eat something delicious and wholesome that will keep me full and do something great for my body.

I’m not saying that it’s easy, because it’s not. I’m saying that it’s possible, and it’s so worth it to say that you love yourself in this moment. 

Have a Beautiful day, xx.

Holidays and Letting it Flow

Happy Holidays! Whatever you celebrate, I hope that this season is bringing you joy, love and light. As the days begin to get longer, and the new year beckons, we begin to stop and consider ourselves a bit more. We take a look at what we can do to make ourselves feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. 

If you’re anything like me (or the rest of the world), the holiday season can bring up a ton of emotions and fears. Families get together, things can get tense and sometimes we lose ourselves in the hustle and bustle. But what we need to do is focus and let it go. Realize, for a minute, what you were doing this time last year. Recognize it, and recognize the change from last year to now. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished and then let it go. Remember to always be present. Yes, this is a time for reminiscing and for thinking about the future. But because of that, it is especially important to be present. 

If you struggle with anything at this time of year, take it easy on yourself. This season marks one year since I began to hit bottom and get some serious help for my eating disorders and cutting. I didn’t stop completely a year ago, but I began my journey toward healing. So even though a year ago I was so, so far worse off, I still get very anxious when I realize I may have put on a little weight because of all the delicious cookies I’ve been munching on! But before I have panic attacks, I try to remind myself that next year, I’ll feel even better. And that the feeling of anxiety will pass. I remember that I know the truth of the situation, that I am love and I am loved. That’s all I need to remember.

That’s all you need to remember. If you’ve got something you’re trying to keep in check, whether it be an addiction or your tend to yell at your little brother for eating off your plate – just breathe and let go. Be happy you’ve made it this far and that your brother is there laughing next to you. 

have a beautiful holiday xx

Four Rules of Recovery

Today I just wanted to touch on something that has been on my mind recently: recovery. Now obviously recovery can mean a ton of different things. Usually it’s pertaining to an addiction of some kind. Food, drugs, sex, love, etc. After being in and out of recovery for several years myself from eating disorders to self-harm, I’ve learned a few things. And I’ve come up with my top 4 most important things to remember when in recovery, whatever your addiction or illness.

1. You’ve gotta WANT it. 

I don’t care if you have the best doctors at the best inpatient treatment center in the state, country or world. If you don’t want recovery, you’ll never get it to stick. Between the ages of 17 and 21 I was in and out of “recovery” more times than I can count on my hands. I’ve had four different therapists, and tried every method I could realistically attempt. Nothing stuck as long as it has this most recent time around. And you know why? I finally told somebody “I WANT HELP.” Personally, my issues with food and self-harm revolved around my crippling depression so once that got under some control I was able to focus enough on the other issues. But it never happened until I finally decided I wanted to get better and be free from my addictions.

2. Relapse is a Part of Recovery

Don’t feel guilty. During your recovery you will most likely slip up. Whether it’s in your thoughts or your actions, you could very easily fall back into negative patterns. You may start to feel guilty and worthless and then it becomes a vicious cycle. So I’m telling you now, relapses happen and it’s OK. Don’t get down on yourself too much if you find yourself eating that extra piece of pie and wanting to throw it up. Don’t throw away your recovery because you had a shitty day and made one cut. Just go to sleep, pray for a better day and try again when you wake up. Sounds to good to be true, right? It wont be easy, I’m not saying it will be. But if it was easy, would it be worth it? Recovery SUCKS. It is the hardest thing you will ever do in your life. However, it is so unbelievably rewarding that you’ll wonder how you survived so long without it. You’ll wonder how you spent so long not seeing the true beauty and love of the world.

3. Put It Out In The World

Live your recovery. Write it down. Blog about it, journal about it. Write an anonymous article about it for your school paper. Go to an AA meeting, tell a close friend. Pray about it, meditate on it. By putting your recovery in the world you bring it to life. It’s so much harder to go back on your decision to stay in recovery if there are people relying on you. If you have meetings to attend and family members you want to see at ease. And by putting it into the universe, the universe recognizes that you’re serious about it and are ready, and she’s gonna back you up!

4. Adjust Your Environment Accordingly

It’s not going to do you any good if you’re a recovering drug addict still hitting the same clubs with your junkie friends. That’s just logic. I’m not saying that you have to cut ties with them. But (and this brings step 3 into play as well!) if they can understand that you’re trying to better your life, then they can live without you for a few months or years. If they can’t accept that, clearly you need to change your friends. It sounds harsh but if someone doesn’t have your health and happiness in mind, they don’t care about you and you shouldn’t make them a priority. During recovery it’s OKAY to be selfish and change your surroundings to fit your needs. Clear out negativity by getting rid of old clothes, books, and items you don’t need. Find peaceful ways to reorganize your life. Little changes around you will help your mindset to be clear and focused on your recovery, not on the person you used to be.

I know this doesn’t even begin to cover all aspects of recovery in all of it’s forms. But these are things that helped me and that I truly believe are most important in any recovery. A spiritual practice is wonderful too (and also helped me tremendously) but that is obviously up to you. I prayed and meditated a LOT when I was first trying to recover. And that was the one constant throughout my journey of relapses until what I truly believe has been my final recovery.

Do I still have urges? Of course. Around my period when I have to increase my anti-depressants, sometimes I have such a horrible day I very nearly turn to self harm. I still keep “supplies” nearby. Probably going against rule #4 but, I’m still recovering and working on surviving without an unhealthy crutch. Even at my most balanced, I still trip up. But I no longer feel guilty. I accept that what I’m experiencing is legit and I just sit in it for a while. And then I let it go. I forgive myself and say that it’s OK. I didn’t act negatively and I can still change my thoughts.

So take what you can from this, and leave what you can’t. Have a beautiful day. xx.