Monday, February 28, 2011

Bad Raw-mance

Heya bloggies! Hope you all had a fab weekend—you can read about mine in this post.
Today is going to be all about my new food finds. I got a lot of things at Whole Foods (favorite grocery store ever!) that are brand new to me and I wanted to share in case you’d like to try them (if you haven’t already).
First up is related to the title—did you catch my Lady Gaga reference?—I had my first ever raw bar. It’s called Pure Bar and boy is it yummy! There are 6 flavors but I was only able to find 4 and I’ve only tried 2: Wild Blueberry and Chocolate Brownie.

Who knew raw food could be so yummy?

If you’ve never had raw food, don’t be intimidated because these are really good bars. They’re similar to Larabars in texture, but much better in my opinion. They’re basically just eight or nine ingredients (nuts, fruit and dates pretty much) and have a good amount of protein and healthy fats. And they’re organic, gluten-free and vegan. Oh, did I mention they are super-yummy?! The brownie one tasted just like a fudgy walnut brownie, but much healthier. The blueberry one was like a healthy pastry. Definitely check these out!

A brownie with omega 3s? Yes, please :)
I also tried blood oranges for the first time. Can I just say…why didn’t I try these earlier? Seriously, better than a plain old orange and so pretty on the inside.
And I thought I hated blood ;)
Cascadian Farm came out with a new cereal called Chocolate O’s. It looks like Chocolate Cheerios but I’m sure it’s way yummier. It’s organic and pretty low in sugar and has some fiber. It doesn’t have a strong chocolate taste, but I like it a lot. It’s great if you want a kids cereal without all the weird ingredients.

Organic and chocolate? Yummy!
For dinner, I had an Amy’s veggie burger, the Texas variety. I wanted to try this one because it has 12 grams of protein and the barbecue flavor sounded intriguing. It didn’t disappoint! Next time, I would put it on some kind of bun with mustard and veggies.
This seriously looks like a cow pie but trust me, it isn't!
And for dessert, I’m planning on having an apple cinnamon breakfast pita with almond butter. I really liked the cranberry-orange flavor, so hopefully I’ll like this one too.
Q’s: Have you ever eaten any raw food? Do you love cereal (like I do)?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dance the Night Away

Hey ladies! Sorry I’ve been MIA for the past few days. I got to enjoy a nice, but busy, weekend at home that started earlier than I expected. My college town got quite a bit of snow unexpectedly on Friday and since they didn’t plow the roads, my mom headed up early to pick me up and I got to miss my afternoon classes. And I enjoyed a nice lunch with my mommy at Noodles—I tried the Veggie Med flatbread sandwich and it was good, but I think I’ll stick with my usual Pad Thai.
It was great to come home to no snow! And to get home in time to have dinner as a family since I really miss that being away at school. The rest of the night was pretty low-key but I needed that.
Saturday was super-busy. It started out normally, but by the afternoon, I was just going going going! My dad, little sister and I were going to a father-daughter dance that night (we’ve gone to one for the past 6 years) and it took me and my sister several hours to get ready. Painting our nails to match our dresses took forever, since they wouldn’t dry. And then we had to do our hair and makeup. I curled mine and put it half up. I thought it looked really pretty. Then of course, it was time to get in our dresses and take pictures! This year, my dress wasn’t brand new, but it was new to me since my sister wore it the past 2 years. We’re similar in size (she’s a few inches taller than me and a couple clothing sizes bigger than me) so it’s great because some things we can share. My dress was turquoise underneath with a black lacy panel over it and spaghetti straps and I wore black strappy heels with it. I really liked how I looked for the most part, which is great because I’m usually very self-conscious.

That's my daddy in the background :)

Once we got to the dance, I did become a little more uncomfortable because I was looking around at all the other girls there, and quite a few of them were skinnier than me. I knew rationally that they were mostly a few years younger than me, but my ED thoughts never completely shut up. It definitely didn’t ruin my night, but I wish I could have enjoyed it a little more.
The dinner was okay. I’m not really big on banquet-type meals, so I knew I wasn’t going to love it. I got the vegetarian option, but I didn’t eat much of it, pretty much just the roasted potato wedges and the marinara sauce with mixed veggies. My dad actually really liked my meal, so I didn’t feel bad about me not eating much. Dessert was cheesecake, which is a huge fear food/off-limits for me. I basically just ate the crust on it, which was yummy. I felt like all the other girls at the table were staring at me, though, because I made a huge mess on my plate scraping off all the cream cheese and basically eating none of it.
The dancing was by far the best part of the night. The band was really super upbeat and played a mix of oldies, like from the 70s and 80s, and new stuff, like “Forget You” by Cee Lo Green. I loved making a fool of myself and jumping up and down and making up crazy moves with my daddy and sister. It was soooooo much fun, but I wish it had gone longer. The dancing only lasted about 2 and a half hours L But it was very fun.
My sis and I also had fun taking pictures of ourselves and each other—and we got a professional one done so hopefully it turns out nice.

Yes, we are dorks!
Overall, it was a really good night, even though I was cold the entire time and by the end, I was starving. I ended up eating a bowl of Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal when we got home after 11, and I usually wouldn’t eat so late, but I hadn’t eaten much at the dance.
Today was really laid-back but unfortunately, my mom and I had to head back up to school early this afternoon. We grabbed an early dinner at this really good salad place called Mad Greens. I got a spinach salad with grilled chicken, mandarin oranges, onions, almonds and spicy nonfat yogurt dressing. It was so yum! Then my mom treated me to some froyo at this place near my dorm. I got cookies ‘n cream yogurt with raspberries!
It was such a great weekend, but I miss my family already. I wish I had gotten to spend more time with my mom other than just on the car ride there and back, but I really appreciate the time I got to spend with my dad and sister. And even though I had some ED-related thoughts, I tried my best to just have a good time. And I did!
Q’s: Do you like going to events where you have to get dressed up? Do you like to dance goofy? What is your favorite flavor of froyo?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Flavor of the Day

Do you ever have those days where one thing just really appeals to you for some reason? Yesterday was one of those days for me—I have a very mint-chocolate kind of day!
It started out with my second (good) batch of chocolate mint overnight oats. They were seriously creamy and simple—I just took one packet of Kashi GoLean vanilla oatmeal and mixed it with 1/4 cup of chocolate peppermint soymilk, put it in the fridge in my nifty blender bottle overnight and enjoyed it for breakfast. I also had a Morningstar Farms hot & spicy veggie sausage pattie that I somehow managed to burn a little in the microwave. I thought I was gonna set the smoke alarm off but luckily I didn’t and it was still (mostly) edible.

Apparently, this is available year-round!

My dessert at lunch was half of a Cool Mint Chocolate Clif bar…can I just say yum?! It is probably my favorite Clif bar flavor and surprisingly it is the lowest in sugar out of the original kinds—but it sure tastes like a mint brownie!

Prob the best Clif bar ever, just sayin'
Along with my Pad Thai noodles, protein “hot chocolate” and fruit salad at dinner, I also had a handful of Blue Diamond mint chocolate almonds. These are so good and I love that they’re roasted in cocoa powder instead of dipped in chocolate because it gives them a darker roasty flavor. Plain almonds are great, but these are perfect for mixing things up!
Mint, chocolate and combo ever!

A few other random foodie thoughts: I am slowly but surely trying to increase my fat intake by focusing on healthy fats. Today I had, for the first time ever, an entire TABLESPOON of almond butter. Yes, in the past I would have a teaspoon here or there, but over the course of today, I’ve consumed an entire tablespoon. Baby steps, but I’m working on it.
I’m about to have dinner, and part of tonight’s meal is these spicy falafel balls that you just pop in the micro for a few secs.
I love anything Middle Eastern! But what I thought was funny was that I was looking at the package last night and the sell by date said 02/31…as in, February 31st! Which of course doesn’t exist! Someone must have been a little confused about their months ;)
Didn't they learn the "30 days hath September" song in kindergarten?
And finally, I found a new flavor of Mix1, which is a type of fruit-based protein drink made in a town not too far from where I’m living. I really like them, and my favorite flavors were previously lime and mix berry, but now I’ve found strawberry-banana! Hopefully I will love this one even more…and I’ve heard there’s a new peach flavor as well!
Part of a future overnight oats experiment!
Q’s: What is your favorite flavor combination (such as chocolate and mint)? Have you ever tried Mix1?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Shout Out!

I just wanted to take the time to give a huge THANK YOU to all my readers and commenters (told you it was huge!) Every word of support means so much to me and I’m so thankful to have such a great community around me. It really helps me a lot in my recovery journey. You are all such an inspiration to me, whether you are recovered or are in some phase of recovery. Thank you for taking the time to read all my posts and even leave comments! I appreciate all of you so much! Bryana, Emma, Haley, Laura, Liz, Missy, Princesslila, Rach…you ladies are the best! Hopefully, I mentioned everybody that’s ever commented on my posts but know that if I didn’t, you’re still amazing. J

Sharin' a little <3 with my lovely readers!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dishin' The Dirt

I loved hearing all your “food failure” stories! They were very entertaining, and I’m very lucky that I haven’t had too many horrible fails.
Today’s post is going to be a little deep, but don’t let that turn you away. I hope it’s insightful to you in your own journeys as well.
Obviously, if you’ve read my blog for some time, you’ll know that I’m in recovery for anorexia. What you might not know is that I also am orthorexic. According to Wikipedia, someone who has orthorexia is obsessed on eating healthily, but to the extreme. While it may seem similar to anorexia, it’s not quite the same. It can also lead to severe starvation and even death, but an orthorexic person is mostly focused on certain “unhealthy” aspects of food and they cut those out completely from their diet. It may seem healthy and normal at first, but it can get out of control.
It is not medically-recognized, which means that it’s most likely a self-diagnosis. But my parents have discussed this with my doctor and she mostly agreed that I also have orthorexic tendencies.
That’s how my ED started out—trying to eat healthier. I had a nutrition class in my freshman year of high school, and I learned a lot about eating well. I learned that saturated fats are “bad” and everything should be eaten in moderation. Not bad advice, but that’s when I started eliminating some things. I started seeking out snacks that were really low in fat, like rice cakes and fat-free cookies, and I began to study the nutrition labels. I wanted to be healthy, not like I wasn’t already, but I thought I could improve.
From there, it just got worse. In November of 2008, I began to think of myself as “fat” for some reason. I have no idea why, because I was literally only 85 pounds at 5’1, which is already underweight. So I began ramping up the restriction, and from there it became full-blown anorexia. No longer was I just trying to eat healthier, but I was consciously trying to lose weight.
I was even more concerned about calories, and saturated fat especially. I tried to avoid it as much as possible; I think at one point I only allowed myself up to half a gram a day, which is pretty much impossible. That’s the thing with orthorexia—it starts out pretty harmless, but once you get fixated on one thing, such as fat, it begins to control your life and your food intake becomes restricted because you cut out more and more “unhealthy” things. And I honestly felt superior to all the people at my school who ate pizza, burgers, even stuff like pretzels and crackers.
Unlike many people with anorexia, I never went a day without eating. Towards the end, I was probably eating only 600-800 calories a day, little to no fat but I still ate 3 meals a day, plus the occasional snack of an apple or sugar-free Jell-O. I was seriously sick, but I didn’t see it. I thought eating just a little white rice and black beans for dinner was perfectly OK, because it was healthy, it wasn’t full of fat, and it was pretty nutritious.
I still didn’t quite see how I was so sick, even when I only weighed in the mid-70s. I was a skeleton, but I thought I was great, because I was eating so “healthy”. But in reality, I was missing out on so much nutrition.
I have gotten better with my restriction mostly. I do struggle with it, but it’s no longer a daily battle. What I deal with a lot still is my orthorexia. I still check the fat content of recipes before I decide to make them. I avoid high-fructose corn syrup completely. I try to keep my saturated fat intake below 2 grams every day. And that is really hard to do. There are a lot of perfectly-healthy things I’d love to try, like Luna bars, but I don’t because the saturated fat content of each bar is over my daily allotment. When I eat Clif bars (which I love, by the way), I usually split them in half so I don’t end up with too much fat for the day. But I am proud to say that I had my second full Clif bar today—meaning I ate an entire one at one time! And no, it didn’t kill me or make me fat! Slowly but surely, I’ll beat my orthorexia, too.

Empty Clif wrapper--yay, I did it! It's one of my favorite flavors :)

Q’s: Do you have any orthorexic tendencies? Do you like Clif bars? If you do, what’s your favorite flavor?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Food FAIL!

Happy Sunday, ladies! Hope your weekend so far has been fantastic.
I got all excited last night because I was going to make my second-ever batch of overnight oats. They were going to be chocolate mint oats, since I had some shelf-stable chocolate peppermint soy milk on hand and I thought it would be interesting. I mixed up half a packet of Kashi GoLean truly vanilla oatmeal and 1/4 cup of the soy milk, thinking it would turn out nice and thick just like my last batch, even though I wasn’t using yogurt this time.
Well…not quite. It was very very yummy, but it was basically like a thin chocolate mint smoothie with some oats thrown in. Not bad, but not the creamy consistency I was going for. Oh, well. I’m going to try again tonight, using an entire packet of Kashi GoLean and 1/4 cup of the soy milk. Hopefully it’ll turn out better.
I also was inspired last night by Carrie’s (from Moves ‘N Munchies) fudgies. They looked so good, but I didn’t have any agave nectar or vanilla extract (oh, the joys of living in a dorm!) So I just nixed the vanilla and substituted a packet of Truvia for the agave. They didn’t look at all like them—they were too watery for some reason, so I added a teaspoon of crunchy AB. I poured the mix into a Ziploc bag and popped it in the freezer overnight. When I tried it in the morning, it was decent—a little too bitter and icy, though. Hopefully I can try again next weekend when I’m at home and have more supplies on hand.
And for my final (hopefully) food fail of the day, I was ready to make a yogurt mess for my lunch. It was going to be strawberry Oikos, 1 cup of Whole Foods Peanut Butter Pows cereal (if you like peanut butter at all, please please please try this cereal, it’s amazing) and a banana. I wasn’t expecting my Greek yogurt to be FROZEN, however. Yep, just gotta love my tiny fridge that freezes things not in the freezer and lets frozen things get thawed. So I tried to stir up the yogurt to mix up the strawberry, which was hard. I ended up eating all the parts separately. Not bad, but I was looking forward to another yogurt mess!
Oh, well. I still liked my food for the most part. And there’s always next time, right?
Q’s: Do you experience food fails a lot? Are they epic (inedible, burnt, etc.) or just less than you expected?
Thankfully, I've never burnt anything this bad...yet!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Too Much?

Hope you’re all enjoying your weekend so far! I think mine’s gonna be mostly booked with homework, laundry and Say Yes to the Dress.
I’ve never been a hardcore exerciser, but I’ve always admired people who are devoted to their workouts, either for sports like track, or just hitting the gym regularly. Throughout the worst parts of my ED, the only exercise I got was about half an hour every day in a women’s fitness PE class at school and my ‘secret’ crunches. I was restricting my calories so much that I could barely work out because I didn’t have the energy.
Exercise has never been really “off-limits” for me during my recovery. No one ever told me not to do it, probably because they assumed I wasn’t doing it and exercise wasn’t part of my ED. Throughout my early recovery, I still just did the crunches, probably more than before because of all the calories I had to eat, but that was about it. During that first summer, I went on the trampoline occasionally or went on hikes with my family on vacation, but that was about it.
Last summer, my second summer during recovery, I think I became more interested in working out. I scheduled in about 15-30 minutes of exercise a day, either walking down my street (which is about a mile), biking, jumping on the trampoline or basic cardio moves in my room. Still, nothing extreme or anything, and I didn’t feel too bad if I missed a day.
First semester of freshman year, I was just trying to keep up with school. I didn’t really have much desire to work out. I was walking probably half an hour a day between classes and my dorm, so I thought that was pretty good. My parents even told me to try to eat more, since I was exercising more than normal for me. And I was still doing crunches after every meal. It’s just something that’s stuck with me.
Then this semester, it’s like a switch flipped on and I feel compelled to exercise. I’m still walking the same amount, but now it’s not enough for me. I started doing yoga two weeks ago. I started out with ten minutes a day, but that quickly progressed to half an hour a day. Then yesterday, I did an hour of yoga. Today, I’ve done 45 minutes. I’ve also been doing some jogging. I did ten minutes today, in addition to the yoga and my normal walking. So I’ve already done an hour and 25 minutes of exercise today. I know, that probably sounds like such a small amount. But for me, it’s big. The only times I’ve ever done that much was hiking or riding my bike over the summer with my dad.
The scary thing is, I feel like it isn’t me who wants to work out, but my ED. I’m starting to feel a high from exercising, and I like the pain it’s bringing to my muscles. But I’m wondering if I’m starting to become addicted to exercise.
Exercise is a great thing, don’t get me wrong. It’s made me more calm and helps me sleep better and just feel better in general, but I’m confused as to how much is too much?
Haha, had to add in something a little silly :)

Q’s: Was or is exercise part of your ED? What do you do when you feel like you’ve done too much?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Overnight Oats in a...Blender Bottle!

I’ve decided to jump in on this OOIAJ (overnight oats in a jar) trend. I didn’t have a jar on hand, but I got creative and decided to use my blender bottle, sans the weird metal springy thing.
I also got creative and created my own easy-peasy recipe which I called Caramel Cappuccino Protein Oats (okay, not so creative name). It’s got 21 grams of protein—not too shabby!
Take 1/2 packet of Kashi GoLean truly vanilla oatmeal, 1/2 scoop Soytein cappuccino protein powder (Soytein’s got all kinds of crazy flavors, but just use whatever protein powder you like), 1 container Oikos caramel Greek yogurt and a little water and stir together. It ended up pretty thick, but boy, was it yummy! I especially loved the little flax seeds from the oatmeal sprinkled throughout. I didn’t notice the oats too much, though, which was disappointing.
Looks yucky, tastes yummy!
I also had a delicious yogurt mess for lunch today! It was my first time making one, and it was super-simple and good. I sliced up a banana, mixed it with 1 container Oikos chocolate Greek yogurt (yes, I’m a little obsessed), a teaspoon of crunchy almond butter and 1/4 cup Bear Naked Fit vanilla almond granola. OMG, this was like a dessert so I couldn’t believe it had 14 grams of protein in it! Next time, I would add a little more AB because I didn’t really taste it!

Greek yogurt+chocolate+banana+AB+granola? Count me in!
On another note, I think I’m starting to make peace with my body. Like last night, I was brushing my teeth in my floor’s common bathroom, which has a full-length mirror in it. Sometimes, I hate what I see in it, but I think I saw the real me last night. I was wearing these brown striped leggings that usually make me so self-conscious, but I actually admired how my legs looked in them. They looked muscular and fit, not huge and fat like I usually think. I realized that I’ll never look like those lanky tall girls…and that’s okay! I’m more on the petite yet muscular side and I should embrace that. Yes, I am smaller-framed than a lot of people, but that’s how I’m supposed to be. People might think I’m weak based on my size, but I’m actually pretty decent at arm-wrestling ;) I don’t know why, but my body puts on muscle from the simplest things—I’m no body-builder, but yoga’s helping me get toned and fit. And I like that!
Q’s of the Day: Have you ever made overnight oats? Or a yogurt mess? How are you making peace with your body?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Me, Stylish? Why, Thank You!

Happy Wednesday, fellow bloggies J I woke up to a great surprise this morning—I found out I was awarded the Stylish Blogger Award by the wonderful Bryana (thanks, girl!)

So here are the rules—As a winner of this award, recipients need to:
1. Write a post and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2. Share 7 random things about yourself.
3. Award 10 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them they’ve won!

Okay, it took me forever to come up with 7 things so I hope they give you a little more insight into the person behind the blog—me!

1. I am OBSESSED with fashion. Most people on my campus wear hoodies and leggings everyday...not me! I always plan my outfits in advance, I dress nice no matter what and I love shopping. I also have my own fashion blog, which you can read here.

Sorry about the horrible photo quality, it was taken in a dark Hollister dressing room!
  2. I've lived in Colorado most of my life but I was born in Phoenix, AZ in the middle of summer (so it was super-hot!) I'm kind of an outdoorsy girl but also a city girl, and I want to move back to Phoenix after I graduate from college.

I visited my hometown last spring break and it was GORGEOUS

3. I’ve fractured my right ankle and sprained my left wrist but I never had to go to the hospital for either injury! When I fractured my ankle in 4th grade, I was in an acro (tumbling) dance class and karate but I never found out exactly how I broke it. I had to get an MRI and I thought it was the coolest thing, because I got to watch cartoons when they did it!
4. I used to want to be a veterinarian, so I shadowed one back in 5th grade. I saw all kinds of things, including a dog being euthanized. It was the saddest thing, so I guess that’s why I ended that career path.
5. Me and my younger sister are super-close. We’re only 3 1/2 years apart, so people have actually confused us as twins! Since I’ve been in college, we’ve only gotten closer even though the distance between us is bigger. I would have to say that she’s my best friend!
Yes, we are a little goofy :)
6. I'm majoring in broadcast journalism with hopes of being a news anchor or possibly meteorologist. Last year, I was part of a district-wide high school TV news team and for the first semester, I was the only girl! So I got to anchor a lot of the time and I loved it! We also had to film, write and produce our own stuff, so it was a great experience. Here's one of my newscasts, you don't have to watch the whole thing since they're pretty long.
7. When I was a baby, I had blonde hair and blue eyes. Now I have light brown hair and hazel eyes. Weird, huh?

So this is really late and most of you have probably already been tagged, so here goes...
And if I haven't tagged you and you haven't done it yet, feel free to do so! Have fun!
What is one random fact about you?

Monday, February 14, 2011

"Baby, I Was Born This Way"

In case you’re not a fan of Lady Gaga (which clearly I am!), the title of today’s post comes from her brand new single, “Born This Way”. Like all her songs, it’s super-catchy and upbeat. But it has an amazing message that I think is very important for all of us, but especially those of us struggling with/recovering from EDs to hear.
If you haven’t heard it yet, check out the video below. I’m just gonna share a few very inspirational lyrics here:
“There’s nothin’ wrong with lovin’ who you are”/She said. “Cause He made you perfect, babe.”
I’m beautiful in my way, / ‘Cause God makes no mistakes/I’m on the right track, baby/I was born this way.
Don’t hide yourself in regret, /Just love yourself and you’re set/I’m on the right track, baby/I was born this way.
See, told you they were good! I really needed to hear this song today, after yesterday’s post. I’ve been feeling so down on myself for that and even before that. Why can’t I just love myself? Haven’t you ever noticed that the happiest people aren’t the prettiest or the skinniest—they’re the ones that love themselves the most. I believe self-confidence is one of the best accessories you can have. No matter what you look like, you’re meant to be that way because God doesn’t make mistakes. Everyone is beautiful in their own way! I should accept myself and my body just the way it is—not the way my ED thinks it should be.
I’m choosing to be happy and healthy…how about you?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I Hit a Road Bump

*WARNING: May be triggering, numbers are mentioned so read on with caution!
Hey everyone, I hope you’ve all had a fantastic weekend. Mine went by too fast, but I was really busy and I enjoyed my family time at home.
In fact, my weekend was really great! Everything was going just fine—I had a fun time shopping with my sister, I enjoyed a trip to Starbucks and a gelato place, I made dessert, had time in the hot tub, watched Saturday Night Live, went to church…and then, BAM! I got weighed, and everything went downhill from there.
I hadn’t been weighed in over a month, since my doctor’s appointment. I was 90 lbs then, which my doc agreed was a healthy weight for me. I think she said as long as I stayed at or above the 90 mark, I was pretty good, even though it’s still underweight. I was happy to hear that.
Suddenly, just as I was about to go back to school after Christmas break, I started to get really intense ED moments. For no good reason, I felt fat and so I started restricting. Not too extremely, just a couple hundred cals below what I normally was doing. But I pretty much did that for four weeks. By the fourth week, I tried to start eating a little more, and I was feeling less and less controlled by my eating disorder. I was still probably eating a little less than I should have. I was scared my mom was going to weigh me the first weekend I came home, and she didn’t. But just before we left today to take me back to school, she weighed me. I was 94 lbs.
I tried so hard not to cry. I did not understand at all. How could I have gone up 4 lbs after having restricted for nearly a month? I knew in the back of my mind that my true weight wasn’t actually 94—the clothes I was wearing possibly added 2 lbs, and I had eaten recently before. Plus, at the doctor’s, I was wearing less, so 90 probably was my real weight, and now I was probably 92. But still. I just did not get it.
We went to a celebration-type service at church soon after I got weighed, and I hated it because all I could think about was plans to restrict, how fat I was, blah blah blah. I couldn’t really enjoy the service, and that made me mad that I let ED control me like that. Especially after I talked about in a recent post about how the number on the scale shouldn’t define you. And what was I doing—letting my weight define how I felt. I felt like such a hypocrite.
After the service, my mom noticed how sad I looked, and she obviously knew what was up. I started crying, and I didn’t really care that we were out in public. I felt so crappy right then. But she pulled me aside and told me how proud she was of me, and reminded me how my weight fluctuates. It made me feel a little better, but then I had to say goodbye for another 12 days, so I still was kinda sad.
My dad drove me back to school, and we stopped for dinner at this burger place. It’s really environmentally-friendly and everything and luckily, they have other non-red-meat options. I got the Portobello mushroom burger and it was super-delicious. I also got edamame on the side. It was a good dinner, but I was still so preoccupied with my weight.

Not my picture (go here), but this is what I got for dinner.

I’m so thankful for all the support you guys give me, so I think I should ask for some right now. I don’t want to slip back, but I absolutely hate this feeling right now. I hate having ED control me because I went up a couple pounds. Part of me is scared that I’m going to keep gaining, so I think I have to restrict. And the more rational part of me is saying that with all the factors, I’m not the ‘scary’ weight I think I am and even if I was, it’s nothing to be ashamed about. I really just need to take the time to sort out my feelings in a healthy way, without turning to restriction or over-exercising.
Thanks for reading such a long post and I hope you’re all doing okay, too!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Early Valentine's Day Surprises

Note: This post is gonna be really long, and have a lot of pictures, so read on if you dare ;)
Let me just say that I hate rush hour traffic. To get from my school to my house took 3 1/2 hours last night—and usually it only takes 2 hours and 15 minutes! There are always problems a few miles out of the city I go to school in, but yesterday, they were just horrendous. We didn’t get to Denver, which is about 60 miles away, until an hour and fifteen minutes after we left (around 6). But that wasn’t the half of it! It took us until a quarter after 8 to get to our house from that point. But I’m glad to be with my family again after not seeing them for 12 days.
Today has been a pretty typical day…except for a few surprises. One was that my dad bought me, my mom and sister each a little pot of red roses. It’s an early Valentine’s Day present, since I’ll be back at school on Monday, but I thought it was really sweet of him. Definitely bringing it back to my dorm to brighten it up!

My lovely roses

I also had an unusual lunch—well, unusual for me. I like salads a lot, but I don’t really ever make them for myself, especially as an entrée. Today, I decided to whip one up and see what I thought. Verdict: I’m definitely going to be making more salads in the future! My salad was made up of fresh romaine lettuce, shredded carrots, a bit of cilantro, a Gardenburger Garden Vegan veggie burger cut up on top, some fat free feta (actually really good) and very-oniony pico de gallo salsa. For the finishing touch, I crumbled a few Archer Farms multigrain pita chips on top. It was d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s! I was going for a kind of Southwestern salad, so I was disappointed to find that my soy cheddar shreds were missing, but it was still really good. Oh, and on the side I had a juicy Satsuma tangerine and a Kashi Dark Mocha Almond bar. If you love coffee and chocolate, you MUST try this bar!
Perfect ending to a yummy lunch

After an afternoon of shopping and Starbucks with my sister (I got a mocha light Frappuccino with raspberry syrup…yum!), I came home and tried to show her some yoga poses. It was really fun, because she kept cracking up and wasn’t able to do them at all since she was laughing so much. Then I had a delicious dinner: apple chicken sausage on a bun, chipotle sweet potato fries and baby broccoli. I went for a dip in the hot tub afterwards, and then started preparing a special dessert—raspberry shortcakes!
I adapted the recipe from the Whole Foods website (found here). I thought it would be a yummy dessert for Valentine’s Day; since it combines raspberries with chocolate sorbet…raspberry and dark chocolate is one of my favorite combinations ever! It was actually really simple to make and I was so pleased with the results. The shortcakes turned out like little biscuits, but they were yummy and vanilla-y (is that a word?!) It was a delicious ending to the day J
The batter--not so pretty, but very very good once baked

This stuff is really good but really expensive

The shortcakes, made from scratch!

The heart bowl makes a reappearance!

I love raspberries :)

Questions: Do you like to make entrée salads? Have you ever had chocolate sorbet?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Is Maintaining Harder than Gaining?!?!?!

Hey! I’m so glad to hear you like the new name and thanks for the comments on my picture—they really made my day :D
So my question of the day is…do you think it’s harder to maintain than to gain? I certainly think that it can be. When you first start out gaining weight, it can be so tough to put yourself in the mindset of “I’m gaining so I can be healthier.” That’s the hard part of gaining. Also, after starving yourself for so long (with anorexia, of course), your metabolism actually slows down during the starvation process. When you start eating normally again, it revs back up again and it can be hard to make any gains. This is why most people, in the early refeeding process, have to eat SO much—if they just ate a normal amount, it wouldn’t be enough.
At some point, you’ll probably reach your “goal” weight. Personally, I don’t think this should be a specific number, but a range of numbers that you can fall between and still be healthy. Your range may be high or low, small or large, depending on your body frame and other aspects. When you reach this area, you’ll probably be at a safe place where you can maintain this weight.
This is where it gets really hard. You might not know how much you actually have to eat to maintain, instead of gaining or losing. Not that it’s bad to keep gaining, but if you’re at a healthy weight, you may not want to gain any more. You might have to eat a little less than you were when you were gaining to stay at a stable weight. You may be allowed to exercise again, and this can throw things out of whack. If you exercise more, you generally should eat more to compensate.
Or maybe you keep eating your normal amount and you maintain for a while, but then all of a sudden, you slip back. This has happened to me so many times during my journey so far and each time, it’s kinda scary. I know I don’t want to go back to my ED, but I’m scared to eat more and gain “too much” weight. Usually, the changes are very, very small, like a pound. But it’s still a sticky situation to be in.
It really is hard to maintain at one specific weight. This is why I think it’s helpful to have a range to fall into. If you slip a little, but it’s still within the range, be more careful with eating but don’t freak out and beat yourself up about it. Everyone has fluctuations all the time, so I think it’s best to weigh yourself once a week at most at the same time of day, so there’s fewer errors. Keep in mind that clothes add a pound or two, so don’t worry if you’re up a couple of pounds.
Most of all remember: You are more than just a number on a scale. Don’t let that number, whatever it may be, define you, or what kind of day you might have. If you’re up or down, don’t let it ruin your whole day. And definitely don’t let it screw up your recovery journey. Because you are worth so much more than that!

I love snow when I'm stuck at home (like this!) but I don't like it so much when I have to walk to classes in it, plus my dorm is soooooooo cold :(

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Name Change

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Today’s post is gonna be short. All I really have to say is that I changed the name of my blog to be Actually Ash, because I think it defines my recovery journey better. I’m me; I shouldn’t be defined by my anorexia. I’m not exactly sure who I am yet, or who I might become, but I’m ready to find out what kind of girl I can be without my ED holding me back.
So don’t worry, the posts and everything are all there, and the blog URL is still the same, I just changed the name to make it fit a little better. Hope y’all like it!

This is me. Having a little bit too much fun with my phone's camera :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

A (Painful) Waiting Game

Hey everyone! Hope your weekend was as lovely as you are J. After starting out my Monday morning with a few minutes of yoga, I was ready to start the day!
This post isn’t as bad as it sounds, trust me! But last night I experienced hunger pains that I haven’t felt in so long.
I had dinner a little later than usual, but I wasn’t starving, just a little bit hungry. I had a vegan Asian noodle bowl, a hot drink made with Soytein cappuccino protein powder and unsweetened cocoa powder and a little Truvia, and a big Honeycrisp apple. Yum! It was a normal-sized dinner for me, but an hour later, I was starving! Usually after a dinner like that, I wouldn’t get hungry til about two hours later, and that’s when I’d have my snack. Since I had had dinner late, I ended up having my snack around the usual time. I was so hungry that I scarfed down that Kashi Trail Mix bar.
Surprisingly, I was just as starving after I ate the bar. My ED thoughts started kicking in, but I shoved them aside. I promised myself that if I was still really hungry in another half an hour, I would eat another snack! Yes, I know, I can’t believe I said that. Normally, I would just deal with the hunger pains so I could shut ED up.
Half an hour came and went and…I was still as starving as before. So I poured myself a bowl of Whole Foods Honey & Oats cereal (kinda like Honey Bunches of Oats). I did measure it out to be the recommended serving size, but…I ate not one, but TWO nighttime snacks! I was so so so proud of myself for basically saying “Screw you, ED. I’m hungry, so I’m gonna eat!”
Sorry if I sound like I’m bragging, but last night was a huge slap in the face to ED. And it felt so good to respect my body’s cues. Take that, ED!
My cute lil cereal bowl (without cereal in it, of course!)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Yoga & Yogurt

My Saturday so far has been pretty laidback. It usually is that way when I stay on campus for the weekend—on my weekends home, I’m usually running around like  a crazy woman trying to do everything at once so I don’t waste the time I have with my family. But it gave me a chance to do laundry and even some yoga time!
I have to say, I really love yoga. It was my first time doing it in almost 2 years and I missed it. I used to do it in my junior year PE class but I haven’t done it since. Then I got a free yoga app on my iPod touch and I thought it would be cool to try again. It’s great because you don’t need any special equipment or anything and it’s easy to do almost anywhere.
The app itself is really cool because you can either do the pose base they created or you can make up your own. I picked from all the poses and chose ten to do for a minute each, plus child’s pose at the end.
I’ve gotta admit that it was painful, but in a good way. I’m sure that when I’ve done the poses for longer, my body will be more stretched out and I’ll be used to them. Then I can do more advanced poses. I’m really excited to start doing yoga now! I’m gonna try to fit in 10 minutes a day and eventually work my way up from there. It’s an awesome workout, because it stretches you out and actually helps you relax. I think it’s gonna be a great tool on my recovery journey, because it’s not super-intense exercise that I could overdo.

Mmmm, Greek yogurt :)

On another note, I enjoyed some yummy Greek yogurt today! Greek yogurt is one of my favorite things to eat, since it’s so high in protein and it’s super-creamy, even though it’s fat free. I know I should focus on incorporating more fats into my diet…but that’s where almond butter comes in ;) Today, I had strawberry Oikos, which is my favorite brand. You have to stir up the yogurt so the real strawberry on the bottom gets mixed in, but it’s definitely worth it. My other favorite flavors are blueberry, caramel and chocolate! Yes, there is such a thing as chocolate Greek yogurt and yes, it’s amazing! My favorite ways to eat it is either frozen (homemade frozen yogurt), with Bear Naked granola or Kashi crackers or all by itself. If you’ve never tried Greek yogurt, you are definitely missing out! Oh, and the plain kind is great as “sour cream” on tacos and fajitas!
So my boring day has actually turned out to be pretty good! Hopefully you’ve had a great weekend so far. Now it’s back to the homework…

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Where I Am Today

*Note: This may be triggering, just based on numbers. But it’s very positive, so read on if would just like some hope, and to know a little bit more about my story!*

It’s been almost 2 years. Almost 2 years since I went to my doctor, knowing exactly what I was going in for, but trying to deny it. Almost 2 years since my parents confronted me, and I had probably the worst day of my life, just knowing I’d let them down. Almost 2 years since I had a panic attack after eating an apple when I was “too full”.
So where am I now? In a much better place. Yes, I still struggle with always loving my body and with restricting but I’ve come so far from 2 years ago. The 16-year-old me was secretly miserable, lonely and always starving. I was 76 lbs at my lowest. 76 lbs!!! Yes, I’m only 5’1, but my BMI was only a bit above 14. Now I know that’s super-unhealthy.
My early days of recovery were full of stomachaches (from refeeding), Boost shakes and crying/screaming fests. I told my parents several times that I hated them. Now, I hate that I ever said that. My parents are my best support team.
I progressed to seeing a dietician and a therapist. They helped me a bit in my journey, but I honestly feel better without them. Maybe they were the wrong fit for me.
My weight increased (surprisingly) slowly. I was so scared of gaining 5 lbs in a day, but of course that never happened. In almost 2 years, I’ve gained 14 lbs. That number sometimes seems so HUGE to me. Yet, I now weigh 90 lbs, which is still underweight. It’s the most I’ve ever weighed, even before my anorexia, which isn’t always the case for people with EDs. It’s kinda weird that way. But according to my doctor, I’m at a good weight…for now. I’m just barely an adult, so I’m sure that as I get a little older, I’ll have to gain. It’s so scary. I already feel uncomfortable at 90—I’m scared to death of the big 1-0-0. It just seems like too much for my frame. Maybe it is. Maybe I’ll never get there. That’s okay, as long as I can maintain at a weight that is healthy for me, whether that’s a little underweight or not.
In a way, I’m still the girl I was almost 2 years ago. I still have the same interests, in journalism and fashion. I still have the same long, light brown hair and hazel eyes. I’m still 5’1. I’m still struggling with an ED daily, still underweight (but much, much healthier). But I’m stronger now, I have the help and support I need. I know I want recovery. And that’s what counts.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fighting Back?

Brrrr! It’s very cold out there! I’m not sure where you live, but I’ve heard that most of the United States is dealing with cold temps right now. I bundled up today on my walk to class but my face almost froze off. The clear, sunny skies were very deceiving!
Lately, I’ve been feeling run-down by ED. Even when I went home last weekend, I still couldn’t completely get his voice out of my head. All I know is, it’s driving me absolutely NUTS! I want to be able to enjoy my life without ED getting in the way, and that’s not happening right now. I have enough stress with school…I don’t need this, too.
But I’m trying to fight back. I’ve been restricting a little bit these past two weeks, and as a result, I often get hungry before it’s time for my next meal. My ED tries to tell me it’s a sign of success, but I hate going to bed starving.
I just got hungry, after eating a snack of Kashi crackers and an apple around 4. I’m not planning on eating dinner for another 20-30 minutes, but my stomach was telling me otherwise. So I ignored ED’s pleas to not eat, and I ate half a banana. I know that’s small, but it’s a start. Usually, I feel horrible if I break my ‘meal plan’ but I’m starting to realize that yes, hunger pains are my body’s way of telling me to EAT SOMETHING! This may seem really obvious, but it’s hard for an anorexic to deal with. But if I want to get better and break free of the hold ED has on me, I’ve gotta start eating when my body wants me to. Even if it’s halfway between meals, I need to do it. Even if it’s just a piece of fruit, it’s nourishment and it’s a step in the right direction.
It actually feels good to look ED in the eye and say, “You know what? Get the hell out of my life!” It feels amazing to kick ED’s butt by eating. Even if it’s just a little something, I know I’m fighting my way back to good health. One extra banana at a time.

On a sorta-unrelated note, this was something brand new I tried today--and loved! It's a cranberry-orange breakfast pita with Whole Foods crunchy almond butter spread on top...yummy! It's on a paper plate cause I'm a college student and it's easier to have disposable dishes (I know how bad it is for the environment, though).