Tuesday, June 28, 2011

All I Can Say Is Eh Eh

I've really been feeling Lady Gaga's "Nothing Else I Can Say" recently, hence my title. My life hasn't been bad, or really amazing lately. Just...eh. Not that that's bad, I just wish I was more positive.

After my recent vlog honesty about my struggles, my body image has actually been on the upswing, which is always a good thing. My bad thoughts about my body come and go in waves, so while it's great that I'm feeling better, I know it won't last. I'm determined to try to fight back this time, though, when the crappy feelings set in again. In fact, they already started to today. For the past few days, I think I actually saw the real 'me' in the mirror. It was refreshing, and I honestly thought to myself "Wow, my legs actually are tiny!" I never thought those words would come out of my mouth. However, all that changed yesterday after I weighed myself. It wasn't some huge, scary number by any means but still frustrating. (*P.S. I don't mean for the numbers to be triggering at all! I have used them before in posts, but if they do offend you, then please skip this part!) I know this will sound sooooo stupid, but I want to weigh 90 lbs so bad. Right now (and for the past few months), I've been hovering 1 or 2 lbs above that and it makes me mad. Mad that no matter what I do, I can't lose those stubborn couple of pounds. I think the real reason I want to weigh 90 lbs is because my original recovery goal weight was 90 lbs and I feel 'fat' if I go above that. Stupid, I know, especially since I'm only a pound over and still technically underweight. I just don't look that underweight in my eyes.

I've also been struggling with an exercise compulsion. I hesitate to call it 'overexercise' because ED still tells me I'm not doing enough, but since summer vacation started a month and a half ago, I haven't gone a day without exercising at least 40 minutes. There were a couple days where I did only 30 or 35 minutes, but there were way more that I did over an hour. In ED's opinion, it's nothing since it's only been 20 minutes cardio, 20 minutes yoga and walking around stores or something most days. But I think that refusing to go even one day without 40 minutes of working out is an exercise addiction. I've even been logging my exercise! And on top of that, I've been hiding the evidence of working out. I mostly do stuff in my room, or I go for a walk by myself or something. And I also think I pulled a muscle in my left calf when I was playing tennis this weekend because I didn't stretch and I overexerted it.

I just feel like I'm going from one behavior to another, from restriction to exercising. I haven't restricted majorly in awhile, since I'm at home and my parents are watching what I'm eating, so now I feel like I have to turn to exercise to control my emotions and my weight. I did the same thing last summer, but I didn't have to work out every day and it was usually for much less time. Exercise never used to be a part of my anorexia, but now I feel like it's taking over my life. I'm not devoting all my time to it, but my thoughts are centered around when I'm going to workout next and how intense it should be. I enjoy exercise, don't get me wrong, but I feel like I'm too obsessed with it and now it's not fun. I feel like I can't think about anything other than planning my meals and exercising. I'm happy for the most part, I just wish I could stop obsessing over these two things and just enjoy my summer guilt-free.

Sorry about this lame downer of a post. I just feel like I haven't really updated in awhile and I didn't want to make my life seem like it was all sunshine and rainbows (like in my Fave Five Friday posts). Not every day is good, but that doesn't mean I'm giving in.

Don't worry, I'm still smiling :)

Any more advice on the body image thing? Have you struggled with abusing exercise and how do you overcome it?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fave Five Friday #2

It's that time of the week again...Friday! I love Fridays, but during the summer they don't really have any special significance to me. But last week, I started Fave Five Friday, where I highlight five of my favorite parts of the previous week. It makes Fridays special again. So here we go for number 2!

1. Pinkberry

The first Pinkberry in my city opened up last week! I tried the watermelon froyo with fresh mango and pineapple chunks
 2. Getting some sun

I didn't read but I did jam out to some Lady Gaga!
3. Instagram

It creates the coolest, most artistic photos!
4. Window shopping

It can be even more fun than actual shopping!
5. Jazz music

Jazz is one of my favorite types of music

What was one favorite thing about your week?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fave Five Friday #1

Thank you all SO MUCH for your support on my last post! I really appreciate all the advice you gave me--if I'm having a 'bad body' day I'll definitely be looking back at those encouraging comments.

I felt like doing a fun post today and I've been seeing a lot of different appreciation-for-life-type posts around the blog world so I came up with my own: Fave Five Friday. Every Friday (hopefully!) I'll be sharing a list of five things I loved about the past week. So here we go for the first one!

1. Embracing my natural hair texture

Wavy is where it's at for me!
2. Brawnies (raw brownies) with Banana Almond Fudge Frosting (recipe below)

1/2 cup almonds (I used mint chocolate roasted)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup pitted chopped dates
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 banana
1 tbsp almond butter

Mix almonds, walnuts, dates and 1/4 cup cocoa powder in food processor until mostly combined. Spread raw brownie batter in small glass baking dish. Blend banana, remaining cocoa powder and almond butter until liquidy but thick. Spread 'frosting' over brownies and freeze until ready to eat. (Makes 8 small triangles or 6 larger ones)

3. Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale

4. Fashion photoshoot with my sister

So fierce!
5. Laughing out loud at "Bridesmaids"

Soooooo hilarious!

What was one favorite thing about your week?

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Wakeup Call

Hi everyone! Sorry I haven't posted in awhile, I've gotten busy and it sorta slipped my mind. Don't worry, I'm still here and I've still been reading and commenting on all your lovely blogs.

Today I've got my second vlog for you all. This one is definitely more serious than my first one but I hope it speaks to you in some way. I was inspired to be honest by Jess's recent vlog. I thought the best way to tell you how I'm feeling is through a vlog, so here goes! If you are unable to watch it, it's basically about my struggles with body dysmorphia. If you have any advice, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Comparison Trap

Recovery from an eating disorder is rough, but there's no doubt that it's also a learning experience. As we progress, we learn new things about ourselves that ED covered up and we also discover our strengths and weaknesses. Through my personal journey, I'm realizing that I do have things to offer the world and that I'm not afraid to share my emotions when the time is right. However, I recognize that I still struggle with comparing myself to others, whether it's with food, appearance or just success in life.

Growing up with a younger sister, my life always seemed to be a competition. When I was younger, I had to 'compete' for attention from my parents. I had to learn to be a big sister, and remember that I was not an only child anymore. Later on, when we both started developing interests, we competed against each other to see who could be the 'best'. It didn't help that for awhile we were both involved in a lot of the same things, like dance and acting, so it seemed like one of us would always come out ahead. It was the same with school. I'm four grades ahead of my sister, but I always felt inadequate and stupid when my sister would come home with straight A's and I'd have a mix of A's and B's. Sometimes I still feel competitive but I try to remind myself that we're each great in our own ways and there's no point in trying to be 'better' than the other one.

Me and my sister at a competitive age (I'm on the right)
 With my eating disorder, I still struggle with comparing myself to other people. I'll see a girl at the store about my height and instantly think I'm fatter than her. Even though comparing yourself to others is never a good thing, it's better if you're at least comparing yourself to someone similar. Most of the time I compare myself to these random girls, I'm 99% positive that they're a few years younger than me. ED says "Yeah, they might be younger than you but they're the same height as you and they're skinnier." But really, why am I wasting my time comparing my body to someone's who may not have even gone through puberty yet? I'm an adult woman in college, I don't need to look like a little girl. I'm naturally petite but that doesn't mean I have to look like I'm still in middle school.

I like to take dorky pics of myself and that's okay ;)
 I also compare what I eat to what others eat. Sometimes, I check out healthy living blogs and while a lot of them are very positive and show a healthy mix of eating and exercise (like Carrie's and Megan's), some of them aren't. I see what they eat and think I can do the same. I feel guilty for not eating as 'cleanly' as some of them do. I eat pretty healthily-- mini Clif bars and organic froyo are my 'junk food' (just to clarify, I'm not saying that I think it's bad if people choose to eat more processed foods, it's just my personal preference not to)--but I feel bad when I see some of these people doing sugar free challenges because even though I don't eat white sugar, I still have a big sweet tooth. One thing I have learned: everyone's different, what works for one person won't necessarily work for you. It's okay to get recipe inspiration or whatever, but don't try to copy everything someone else eats. Just do what feels right for you, whether it's veganism, meat-eating, intuitive eating, meal planning or whatever. Stop the comparison game, and you'll feel so much better!

I've found what works for me: seafood/fish every so often, veggies and LOTS of fruit...

...with some yummy gelato once in awhile :)
 Q's: Have you ever compared what you eat to what others eat? What about body comparison?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Alphabet Soup

Thank you all so so so much for your encouraging words on my last post! I know that I am still struggling with these thoughts, but it’s relieving to know that many others have dealt with the exact same thing and I just need to keep pushing through. You are all amazing inspirations to me! J
Today, I thought I’d do a fun, lighthearted post and I’ve seen this survey around the blog world for a while, so I thought “Why not?” I changed a few of the letters but that’s just how I roll!
A is for apple, what’s your favorite variety? Def would have to be Pink Lady…pretty much the only kind I eat!
B is for breakfast, what do you usually have?
I try to mix up some of it, but I always have a Morningstar hot & spicy veggie sausage (for yummy crunchy protein) along with some sort of carbs, like a waffle or slice of toast topped with almond butter, and then either Greek yogurt, some cereal, overnight oats or a Vitatop muffin.

A typical (?) breakfast: Oikos superfruits Greek yogurt topped with bloobs and strawberry granola clusters, 1/2 homemade berry waffle, veggie sausage link

C is for cereal, what is your favorite kind currently? I love all the kid varieties of Cascadian Farms, but I’m gonna go with Fruitful O’s. Like a yummier, healthier version of Fruit Loops!
D is for donuts, you might not currently be eating them but what kind do you like? Actually, I’ve never ever liked donuts…too much of a sugar rush for me!
E is for eggs, how do you like yours prepared?
Ewww, I completely hate eggs! I have never liked them, unless they’re baked into something and you can’t taste them.
F is for fat free, what is your favorite fat free product?
Definitely Greek yogurt and froyo! And of course most fruits and veggies.
G is for groceries, where do you buy yours?
Either Whole Foods (love that place) or Super Target.
H is for hot beverages, what is your favorite?
I definitely prefer cold drinks to hot but I will drink nonfat lattes from Starbucks hot.
I is for ice cream, pick a flavor and a topping?
Gelato is 1000 times better than ice cream! My favorite flavor is soy chocolate and I love any kind of fruit on top (or just plain).
J is for jams or jellies, do you eat them, and if so, what flavor?
I love the Smucker’s organic line of jams, especially the apricot kind.
K is for Kashi, name your favorite product?
OMG, I love Kashi, so this is a hard one. Either the Kashi TLC crackers, the Cherry Vanilla cereal bar or the Dark Mocha Almond granola bar. I love coffee and chocolate together!

Kashi crackers, apricot, date stuffed with crunchy AB

L is for lunch, what was yours today?
I had a late one today but it was yummy! A green salad topped with leftover grilled chicken, snap peas and edamame guacamole/plain Oikos mix on top, a nectarine and a mini Chocolate Brownie Clif bar.
M is for milk, what kind do you prefer?
I used to only drink skim milk, but when my parents switched over to 1% for a while (can’t stand that stuff) I decided to try soy. Now I like unsweetened chocolate soymilk or unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
N is for nutrient, do you prefer carbs, protein or fat?
I’m def a carb monster—I love fruit and cereal! Next I’d have to go with protein, especially Greek yogurt. I’m still a little scared of fats, but I love almond butter and edamame for that.
O is for onions, do you eat them?
Only uncooked, the cooked kind gives me a horrible aftertaste that lasts for a few days. I mostly like green onions and red onions in pico de gallo.
P is for protein, what’s your favorite source?
Seafood (white fish, shrimp, scallops, crab legs) or Greek yogurt. My fave brand is Oikos and I love pretty much all their flavors.

Grilled mahi mahi topped with strawberry pico and strawberry melon gazpacho on the side

Q is for quiche, what 4 ingredients would you like in yours?
I’m pretty sure I’ve never had a quiche, and since I don’t eat cheese, I wouldn’t try one now.
R is for restaurant, what’s your favorite?
I love OPB&J, an organic peanut butter and jelly place in my city. It has the yummiest PBs, jellies, breads and toppings!

Prickly Pear PB&J

S is for spices, name four that you’ve used recently?
I used cinnamon and ginger on my sweet potato last week, my mom made a pasta dish with a chili lime seasoning a few nights ago and I used black pepper in some edamame guac I made the other day.
T is for trick or treating, what’s in your bag?
I haven’t gone in quite a while, but when I used to love candy my favorites were gummy Lifesavers, Sweet Tarts, crispy M&M’s, sour gummy worms and Hershey’s Dark Chocolate.
U is for universal, what’s your favorite type of cuisine?
For sure Mediterranean/Middle Eastern. I love vegan gyros, pitas and hummus!

Vegan gyro with roasted artichoke, veggies, olives and hummus!

V is for vitamins, do you take them, and if so, what kinds?
I love the sour Flintstones gummy vitamins! They are so yummy and make me feel like a little kid again!
W is for water, where do you get yours from?
Usually from my fridge’s dispenser. I always have to have it with ice, though.
X is for eXtra special, what food holds a special place in your heart?
This one is pretty tricky, but I’m gonna have to go with gelato. I only get it rarely, once a month at the most, but it is so delicious and creamy without being heavy and full of fat.

Soy chocolate and birthday cake gelato...mmmmm!

Y is for yogurt, if you could only buy one cup, which would it be?
Oikos has my heart, and I love all their flavors, but if I had to choose only one, it would be their new superfruits flavor. It has acai, raspberry and blueberry (so it’s like 3 flavors in one…is that cheating?!)
Z is for zero guilt, which food never makes you feel guilty for eating it?
Though someday, I’d like to NEVER feel guilty about eating, I’m not there yet. However, eating fruit never gives me guilt. It’s the perfect treat, it tastes sweet but is super healthy.

Q: Choose one letter and tell me what you would say about it (for example, A= what’s your favorite kind of apple)!

P.S. I changed the design of my blog (again!) Hope you like it :)