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Link Love #1

I used to read novels within days of each other, and would get so intrgiued with a story that I couldn’t focus on anything else unil I finished it. Then life happened, I got a job, I found travel.. yada yada..

I never seem to have time to actually sit down and read enough of a novel to get hooked before having to put it down and think about something else. That’s why I love reading blogs and I usually end up learning at least something from each one that I read. My bloglovin’ collection is quite the mixture I must say but that’s what keeps everything exciting and interesting!

I thought that I woudl share some of the links I found interesting this week! 

Life

9 WAYS TO THRIVE AT LIFE WHEN YOU MOVE BACK HOME 

I’m currently dreading moving back home in a month or so. I mean, I’m looking forward to being back in the comfort of my hometown, family and especially reunited with my car… but thinking about living in my house again, stresses me out to say the least.

Misconceptions about Servers

After working as a server for the past 3 years it’s insane how true these misconceptions are!

Satisfying Foodie Moments

If you’re a true foodie, you’ll watch this video and be like “yep, that’s me..that’s me too, oh and yep, once again” At least that’s how I felt through it!

MAYOLESS TUNA SALAD, THREE WAYS

I hate mayonnaise but I LOVE tuna, so i’m pretty sure that these recipes will be calling my name sooner than later!

Health/Recovery

Demi Lovato Opens Up about Mental Disorder

I Absolutely love everything about Demi Lovato and have so much respect for her being so open about her mental illness.

WELLNESS WEDNESDAY: THE PROBLEM WITH THE BIKINI BODY

I feel like this is an extremely important read especially since “bikini season” is approaching. Honestly, I can admit that every summer that comes along my mindset shifts and I do have the desire to either tone up, eat better or lose weight… which let’s be honest neither of those I need will not do

Black and White thinking

I love reading Izzy’s posts on recovery. She’s super blunt and clear cut which is easy to relate to in my own case anyways. Reading this post about how we often see things as being all or nothing really made me realize how relevant it is in my own life as well.

Lauren Conrad Not on Board with Body-Shaming words

Hallelujah. I love Lauren Conrad and no not just because she’s gorgeous beyond belief, but because she’s real. She’s not trying to be someone she’s not, and she stands up for what she believes in. I highly respect her decision to remove her labels from her website and it’s gotten me thinking myself on my own choices.

Travel

8 underground city trips in Europe

As much as I hate being underground discovering new cities is something I live for.

Five Reasons France is the Perfect Place to Picnic

I can 100% say that this is so true! Since being in Paris for the past 10 months I’ve had so many lovely picnics and they have been the best of my life. Whether its on the banks along the seine or in one of the many parks in the city, I always enjoy myself.

Stay tuned for some exciting changes happening to my blog in the near future! 

It’s a sad day in Paris

Waking up to see the news of the removal of the love locks in Paris was not how I expected the day to start off.

I remember when I first made the decision to come to Paris out of the other cities I had to wanted to visit. One of the things I was most excited for was to put a lock on the ever so famous love bridge. That and eat macarons, but that was pretty obligatory. 10622832_10204798717510990_2259426808998882891_n

Needless to say, I put a lock on the pont des arts, not once but twice.

Once in September with my fling at the time, and the other just a few weeks ago with my best friends here in Paris.

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We weren’t sure what you’re supposed to do with the keys so we threw them over our shoulders into the seine for good luck.

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Putting those locks on the bridge were not only experiences; but memories…. And now, they are gone like a lot of things in life I suppose. I mean, it’s not like having the lock on the bridge was effecting my life or anything but it’s still upsetting to see all of those symbolic pieces of people’s lives being thrown away.

Of course, this is far from being the end of the world or probably even an importance to many people in the world but it was a part of my experience in Paris, so sadly it has put a little damper on my life.

I’m curious:

  • Have you been to Paris?
  • If so, did you put a lock on the bridge?

Sweet Omelet Muffins Recipe + Rambles on Running

As you may have noticed my baking addiction has decreased a bit. Well better put, I had to put a stop to it for a while in order to get myself straight because I was eating the same foods day in and day out.

Routine is good don’t get me wrong but so is change is flexibility.

I woke up this morning feeling good and finally meditated for one minute. I know one minute may seem like nothing but meditation is hard especially when your mind is constantly spinning in circles.

I decided to go to a run, not because I felt the need to “exercise” but I wanted to move, and my body craved a run. I don’t know how many minutes I ran and I don’t know how far either, and quite frankly I don’t care anymore. I stopped running well before I had made it back to the house but I was tired and I knew my body needed the break.

I’ve really been influenced lately by one of my biggest inspirations, Maddy Moon and her weekly podcasts. One of my favorites is with Kaila Prins on the topic of transforming our minds around exercise. Check it out here !

By not killing myself to run to prove something other than to benefit my own body, running actually felt… FUN. 

I never would have thought that I would have put running and fun in the same sentence. I grew up hating it and you know what I still am not a fan that’s for sure. Who knows when I will run again, or if I will (okay i’m sure I will) but i just don’t care.

I see so many people stating that they “only” or “just” ran 5 km and they now feel ashamed or disappointed in themselves for not being able to push harder.

It really saddens me to see so much negativity being brought into a part of our lives that is supposed to bring us joy and happiness! Exercising should be enjoyable and when it becomes “work” it’s time to take a step back and reflect on how you can make some adjustments.

If one day we can run 10km and the next week only 5km because our body can’t push anymore …

HEY THAT’S OKAY! 

I’ll admit I was addicted to exercise, and you know what! I still can say I struggle with the thoughts on a regular basis. I wrote about my own experience in a past post where I thought that I had let go of the negative thoughts completely.  Truth be told that wasn’t the case but I’m able to accept that I’m not perfect now, and that we all struggle!

Now for some food, because after a run, i’m hangry. 

Recipe 

Ingredients

1 egg

1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder

1 TBSP coconut flour

1/2 banana mashed

1/2 tsp baking powder

Directions

Preheat oven to 350.

Mash Banana, then add in egg (yes yolk and all).

Mix in the rest of the ingredients until well combined. Depending on your protein powder it may not combine well.

Pour into mini muffin molds.

Bake for 15 mins.

Take out and enjoy!

Stress and Perfectionism  

From the moment I had opened my eyes in the morning I was already adding unneeded stress by trying to be as productive as I felt I should be. The idea of being perfect became my daily goal, but was never achieved because nothing was ever considered to be good enough.

No matter what I did or how much I succeeded I always felt that there was something more I couldn’t done to be essentially “Perfect”

Normal daily tasks that are simple to a typical human being became stressful as I made them more complicated than they needed to be.

It got to the point where I couldn’t go to the bathroom without taking my cell phone. As if I was being that much more productive by the whole 20 seconds I was in there.

Surfing the web soon became more work than play. My internet explorer was full of tabs every time I opened my computer and I couldn’t stay on my page any longer than 20 seconds before flipping to the next. Listening to lectures for school was the worst and I would have my cell phone out at the same time once again trying to do as much as I could.

I ignored people; I stopped being social. I felt that during that time with my friends I could be doing something much more productive instead of essentially wasting time with my friends. This ended in the loss of many relationships.

But what was the worst?

Exercise became a chore.

Sports, well exercise in general, were once the best things in my life. When I lost myself to this illness, I lost my love for what made me truly happy.

You see people everyday pushing themselves to do exercise unwillingly. People walking on the treadmill while scrolling through Facebook or catching up on the latest news on the big screen TV’s in front of them. Never did I think that I would become a part of that stereotype.

What happened to mindfully exercising for the pleasure of nourishing our bodies and for the simple endorphin’s we earn? We strive to be better, to be more productive, to be the best that we can be in order to fit

Personally it got so bad that I would tell myself I needed to go for a walk to “clear my head” yet the whole time I would be scrolling through my Instagram which inevitably was stressing me out even more without even realizing it. I mean I couldn’t do a plank without grabbing my cell phone to scroll through my feed once again.

This wasn`t the life that I wanted to live for the rest of my life and I knew that.

I want to enjoy exercise, I want to enjoy the time with friends and I want to enjoy life.

Incredibly all of those things that I want are possible, but only if, I myself, put the effort into making change.
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5 months and many self induced changes

It’s possible, don’t let anyone tell you any different

Curiosity time: 

  • Do you feel you stress yourself out?
  • What coping mechanisms are you using?

When Social Media is no longer fun and games

Ask yourself:

Do you find yourself needing to post everything you eat on your social media?

jygk

honestly though, my drunk nights are really irrelevant to the rest of the world…

Do you base your meals around what you see other people eating?

dsgdrhd

Are you losing sleep because you’re scrolling through the lives of other people all night ?

Oh and my favorite…

Have you ever “apologized” to your online community for not posting or for being away from social media?

Wake up and smell the roses people

This lifestyle is far from being healthy but you know what, sadly I can say I’ve been guilty of doing them all at some point or another.

I allowed every choice I made throughout the day to be influenced by what I would see on the screen on my iPhone. Upon waking up my first thought wasn’t what I felt like eating for breakfast, but instead what pretty creation I could come up with to later on be posted on my Instagram.

It would take me at least an hour to made a recipe, bake it, and then after 20 minutes and 100 photos later post it for all of my followers to see. There were countless times when I would make these beautiful meals and then pick it apart after I got the Perfect picture because I didn’t want to eat it but simply wanted it to appear more photogenic. I knew I didn’t truly want the food that I was creating but I did it to essentially “fit in” and to feel apart of that fitfam community that seemed like all the rage.

I’ll admit I still love social media but in the past year I have made a lot of changes to how I interact with it as I finally realized the negative effects it was having on my health. I still make recipes because I have a passion to do so, but the difference now is that I do it for me and no one else.

Reflecting on my own behaviors has really made an impact on who and what I choose to consider a part of my life today.

I no longer try to be someone that I’m not, nor want to be, just because I’m trying to fit in, and nor should you. 

Take the initiative to reflect on your own behaviors and be aware of what and who you look up to in your own life.

Intuitive Eating

I love food especially a lot of different varieties of food.

but for a while, too long to be honest….

I was in a rut of eating the same things over and over again; convincing myself that that was all that my body wanted when really, I was just to stubborn to step out of my comfort zone and find enjoyment in food again.

The other day for breakfast I just wanted a salad with chicken, quinoa and lots of greens, so that’s what I ate at 8am in the morning.

Sometimes I crave my canadian pancakes with maple syrup,

Other days maybe I want a greasy pizza from a take away stand.

Either way, It really doesn’t matter to anyone but myself.

No one will judge me for eating what I love, enjoying food or listening to my body.

Simple as that.

By listening to my body and actually giving it what it craves, I’m nourishing it and i’m creating a healthy balance. By telling myself that is it wrong to want certain foods I’m doing the complete opposite.

I used to feel guilty for eating what I actually wanted when I was in the beginning stages of gaining weight because of the hateful responses I would get from the others.

“why don’t you ever eat a pint of ice cream”

or “why don’t you buy chocolate bars regularly”

oh and the classic “just eat a hamburger why don’t you”

what they don’t realize is those words are NOT encouraging and come off as being the complete opposite making you feel like you’re doing the wrong thing by not eating a certain food or following a “trend”

Imagine telling someone who’s trying to lose weight, to stop eating so much, or to just eat a salad already. You wouldn’t say that would you? Then why are people shaming the ones trying to gain weight by doing the same? 

As a recovering orthorexic I’ve been that girl who ate salads day in and day out restricting my body from what it actually wanted, which for the most part was carbs. Oh the evil carbs. 

Learning to eat intuitive has taken time and patience. My body was fed such a limited diet for so long, the cravings for other foods wasn’t an instant process. I started slow and introduced ice cream, chocolates, pizza, etc.. back into my life and have found what foods I actually enjoy eating and what ones my body tells me that it does want.

I fell into this really negative trap of mindless eating and still struggle with it each and everyday in some way or another. I have a tendency to consume food without making it an experience and actually enjoying the flavors and quality of what I’m eating.

Apparently I’m more satisfied with hearty savory foods as opposed to salty. I could eat pizza over pretzels or chips any day when given the choice but now I know what to choose.

When it comes to desserts I like cake over ice cream, does that make me any less of a person because I don’t want the Ben and Jerry’s?

Hell no.

The fact that I’m listening to my body and giving it what it wants shows more strength than following the crowd.

I started looking at food as fuel and not as just something that was going into my body.

Question time: 

  • Are you an intuitive eater?
  • Have you found foods that you love but didn’t realize until you made the switch?

Putting your Health First

Two years of my life I tried to recover, but as you can see I wasn’t successful at that moment in time.I tried to go on living life as if there wasn’t anything wrong with how I was living; essentially in denial.

I went to university then the next year to college while working 2 jobs and still was convinced that I was putting enough effort into recovering but still couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting better.

Duh GIF

Apparently the light bulb never went off in my head. 

The years that were supposed to be the best ones of my life were spent drinking disgusting light beers and watered down cocktails while my friends indulged and lived life.

I lost my love for the one sport that took me to university in the first place and ended up quitting before my year was up.

My 6 year relationship suffered, ending in a break up because I lost the desire to put any effort into making things work and focused on my “health”. I stop wanting to do things together because that meant stepping outside of the comfortable routine that I had made for myself.

Here I am 3 year later and what did I realize?

MY HEALTH NEEDS TO COME FIRST, not sometimes but ALWAYS 

Having an eating disorder doesn’t just affect your eating habits, it has an affect on EVERY aspect of your life. When I say every, I mean literally everything from going to the bathroom, how you sleep at night to how you enjoy your vacation.

Oh Vacation… exactly what this past year has been for me

I came abroad thinking that everything would magically get better and that I would just indulge in all of the french food and life would be grand.

Yeah, think again. Having that mentality only fueled my disorder even farther until five months later I reached a point where enough was enough.

In the beginning (as in the first week) I truly indulged. I didn’t work out, I ate macarons, crepes, baguettes, cheese… you name it. Then as I became more comfortable with my surroundings my little vacation ended and life continued to fall back in place.

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My birthday cake from September that I had two bites of…shame on me

I was alone during the days and once again in control of what I was eating and had the freedom to exercise whenever I wanted. I thought it was fine still in denial that this life was anything but positive.

I fell right back into the fitness community but this time decided that I wanted to be one of those girls with the amazing kayla itsines transformation. I spent my days scrolling and reloading images hashtagged #bbg to get “Inspiration” and “motivation” to push myself to do the workouts. I got stuck in the comparison trap which once again fueled my disordered eating and thoughts.

Along the way I met an amazing guy who changed my life, and really pushed me to make changes but sadly I pushed him away once again as I had done with every other guy that had come into my life.

When I went home at Christmas time and surprised my family, that was when it hit me; That I had not made 1 ounce of improvement in those 4 months abroad but yet got worse.

That January was when I finally decided to put this disorder to an end and focus primarily on making changes for my OWN health.

How did I do this? 

I enrolled in nutrition school. You’re probably thinking “that’s stupid, she’s just going to learn more about nutrition and health” That’s true I have, but I’m learning the right way to do it this time around, and not relying on Instagram and Blogs to educate myself. Integrative Nutrition focuses on Bio-Individuality which has been HUGE for me in realizing that everyone truly does require their own diet and no two people are alike. It’s really helped with the comparison issues I was having.

Socially I needed to less introverted so I started proactively making plans to get me away from the house.

I stopped meal prepping and allowed myself to be more flexible and listen to my real hunger cues.

I no longer was trying to be a part of that #bbg community that seemed to be all of the rage at the time.

Food wise, I stopped restricting EVERYTHING. This was the hardest part for me in the beginning. I would be eating double the amount of the people around me, and often sneaking food to eat when they weren’t around because my body was often experiencing extreme hunger. I embraced the bloat and threw away all of the clothes that I had been holding onto as a sense of comfort.

By letting go of everything that had been dragging me down, I’m feeling stronger than I ever had when I was pushing my body to extreme measures that it didn’t deserve.

Trust me, things will not just magically get better unless you decide for yourself that you’re ready to make a change.

Be strong and put your health first.

I’m Curious:

  • Have you noticed other aspects of your life being affected by your eating/exercise habits?

Why I don’t eat Pop-Tarts and Ben & Jerry’s

I don’t eat pop tarts and I don’t eat Ben and jerrys

Does that make me any less of a person?

I sure hope not.

Does that mean I don’t fit in

Fit into what? 

Scroll through any iifym or #edrecovery tags and every 5 posts is one of these two.

So many times I’ve gotten criticized for not pushing myself on recovery enough cause I don’t “indulge” in these foods. Indulging if you wish is exactly what fueled my disorder and drove my mindset deeper and deeper into the restrictive state it was in.

Don’t get me wrong I have a huge respect for those who are finding the freedom of bringing these foods back into their diets but this path wasn’t for me.

I remember back when I bought a box of pop-tarts and my mom asked why I “miss health freak, sugar is bad for you” had just spent money on a  box of childhood pop-tarts.  ” They’re all the rage in the fitness world” was what came to mind as I tried to insure her that these were magically going to heal me from all of my problems.

Sadly, this was the first instagram picture i posted from my trip to the US… 

I was changing who I was in an attempt to fit into this world that deep down I didn’t even want to be apart of.

Disorder eating and eating disorders are not only mentally and physically straining on your body but in my own personal experience insanely expensive.

This is where social media can become negative in an opposite sense that many of us may think. Seeing all of these posts of ice cream and pop tarts and branded products I felt discouraged as if I wasn’t pushing myself far enough because I wasn’t eating what they were. Little did I realize I would compare myself to those eating almost nothing and those eating a lot more than myself, there was no balance.

I began saving all of my “macros” (that were way to low for me anyways) for night so I could have those protein bowls for my #carbsafterdark .. gosh how silly that seems now to see that written out like that.

Search the hashtag #questbar and the posts will be either from iifym followers or those recovering from eating disorders; no consistency but yet complete opposites.

I’ve been there.

I thought that by forcing myself into the fitness world I would cure myself of my disordered thoughts and behaviors and boy was I wrong. Come to find out that majority of the people that I looked up to were actually in positions similar to mine but I couldn’t see that.

Social media is deceiving. 

Growing up I was forced to eat pop-tarts every day before leaving for school and now I truly don’t have the desire or craving to eat pop-tarts .

I also grew up in a family where ice cream meant the no name 4 liter tubs that came in your basic flavors. The fact that a small pint of B&J costs more than 4 liters of something I can get the same or more pleasure from eating baffles me.

Today, I have a much better balance with listening to my cravings. I’m no longer trying to be someone that I’m not, nor want to be.

I’m just me; and that me enjoys baguettes, cheese and a whole lot of wine.

Why a meal plan didn’t work for me

I’m a huge planner, with literally everything in my life so when meal plans were in my thoughts of how to find a better balance with food I thought that it would be perfect. Little did I realize that this type of recover was completely negative for me.

This being said I have never been forced into changing my lifestyle and am not under any medical care, therefore I have had the ability to experiment with what works for me. It has been a long process and i’m sure that if I had of had more force and guidance earlier on than I would have made progress at a much faster and maybe more efficient rate.

I tried a lot of different ways to change my negative habits, from macro counting to meal plans and food exchange plans. Nothing worked. They all felt too much like another diet, as I found myself still restricting from what my body truly wanted. I have a hard time putting effort into something that I know isn’t going to last forever, in this case that thing was a meal plan.

It didn’t allow me to intuitive eat and when I would “break” what was put in front of me the guilt was too much. I felt restricted with eating a certain amount of food at a specific time.

Growing up food was never restricted nor was there ever a set diet that I was forced to eat. This is what I’m striving to get back to and by using a meal plan I felt like I was taking a step backwards.

My goal was to be able to eat intuitively, no calorie counting, no macros, and no fear foods which is finally what i’m seeing is possible with a lot of trier and error.

So what did work?  

The first step after admitting that I had a negative relationship towards food in general was to write down exactly what thoughts I knew I needed to change. Even though I would think over and over about what I knew that I could change in my mind, it wasn’t until I saw it on paper that I realized almost how silly and unrealistic my thoughts were.

The list wasn’t filled with just feared foods, to be honest the majority of the changes were related to either meal timing or rules that I had made up in my mind.

No eating more than one carb at a time

Morning snacks are a big NO-NO

and the best one… Fat will make you fat

Come to find out ALL of those rules were wrong, and needless to say have now been consistently broken.

I took it slow and made changes as I felt comfortable sticking to them. Once I would accomplish one I would move onto the next and so forth.

How did I know that I was eating enough for my body?

This is a tough one considering I don’t count calories daily and don’t religiously step on the scale BUT it has been possible. In the beginning I would count my calories (underestimating) every few days to make sure I was staying on track. This was easy because I was eating a lot of the same foods so at least I knew that I was eating on average what I figured my body needed. For me, I went with the “over 3000” calorie approach. I don’t want to label it as being minnie maud because i haven’t religiously followed all of the rules, but in the sense of calories that was my goal.

In the past 5 months of no calorie counting, no meal plans, no medical team and no restricting I have gained 17 pounds.


I learned to have trust in my body. 

This isn’t to say that meal plans don’t work, they just didn’t for me. Like a lot of things in life, we don’t know what works and what doesn’t until we try them out first hand.

What have you found has worked for you?

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