Monday, February 23, 2015

NEDAwareness Week

This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.  NEDA is hosting a series of social media events thoughout the week to promote eating disorder awareness and to provide resources to those who need help.

Just a year ago I wasn't ready to admit that some of my "healthy" habits had become disordered.  I was living secretly in a world filled with guilt, shame, and self-hate.  And I didn't truly believe that I needed to change.

I had no idea that healthy habits preached by the media and our diet-obsessed culture were hurting me so much.

I had no idea that body love and body acceptance were what I should have been striving for.

I had no idea that working out every day was damaging my body.

I had no idea that I could make it this far.  That I could be happy again.  That I could eat an indulgent meal with my fiance and truly enjoy it.  That I could balance my moods.  That I could escape the aches and constant joint pain from all the running.  That I could escape the chill that always cloaked my body.  That I could clear my brain of the fog that enveloped me.  That I could stop weighing myself every day.  That I could begin to accept my body as it is and truly believe that I am enough.  My journey isn't over, but I am 100x happier today than I was a year ago.

You don't have to be a certain shape to struggle with disordered eating or exercise, and it doesn't look the same for everyone - I still ate (though not enough for the amount I exercised), and most people had no idea of the sadness and anxiety aching inside of me.  Even in the healthy-living blog world, over-exercise and restrictive eating is glamorized.  It is time for us to change this.

I encourage anyone who thinks that their healthy habits have become detrimental, or if you worry too much about what you eat, to get help.  I truly believe that we can heal our relationship with food and our bodies.  NEDA is a great place to start.  Other resources that have helped to surround me with positivity and the real science behind nutrition are:

The Real Life RD
Millitant Baker
A Weight Lifted
Summer Tomato
Almost Anorexic


Monday, February 16, 2015

Why Hot Chocolate is a Big Deal

Hot chocolate.  One of my favorite winter treats.  With milk AND water AND marshmallows.

Beginning about 6 years ago, I decided that hot chocolate was not something I could have.  It was not nutritious, it was "empty" calories, and it was off limits.  I decided that I did not deserve hot chocolate any more.

Over the past year, most of my friends know that I have made big changes to change my restrictive, black and white mindset.  Many of them may have had a latte with me at Starbucks since then.  Or had wine with me at happy hour.  Or seen me eat a steak with french fries.

Those activities aren't difficult for me anymore.  I sometimes feel some twinges of guilt the next day, but I am able to enjoy those moments without anxiety.

But many of my friends don't know, that I still have a hard time letting myself enjoy "indulgences" that I love when I am alone.  For example, it feels great to share a latte with a friend, but I would not buy myself a latte to enjoy alone without a "legitimate reason."  I would not grab myself a cheeseburger on a night I am eating on my own.  I would not have a bowl of ice cream without someone to share it with.

But why?  Am I still stuck in old habits, hanging on to old misconceptions about calories, and clinging to my fears around gaining weight?  Are these "unhealthy" foods only okay in certain social situations?  Do I think that I don't deserve these sorts of pleasures without a reason? 

I decided that this is something I need to change.

So yesterday I had a hot chocolate with marshmallows.

And I am having another one now.

Because it is snowing, and I because I am cold, and because I deserve it.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thinking Out Loud

I have yet to participate in the Thinking Out Loud link up hosted by Running with Spoons. I think it will be really good for me because I have been having a hard time writing blog posts lately - I feel like I either come across as whiny or self-righteous. Hey, maybe this was how I was meant to find out that I am both whiny and self-righteous.  So today's post is going to be an un-editted version of whatever the hell I feel like announcing.

The Bachelor and Vanderpump rules are my two guilty pleasures.  Sorry I'm not sorry.  Kelsey and Kristen should hang out.  I secretly turn up the volume when Travis is around so he realizes how grateful he should be.

Adding pictures to my workplace has improved my mood at the office.  Try it, trust me.

It was cute at first but these emails are starting to annoy the shit out of me.  Really?  Wouldn't it make more sense to ask "Which wedding cocktail should you offer at your reception?"  I love myself a cocktail, but there is no need to personify.

I want a dog so badly. This kind...

I picture us cuddling on my couch then running to the Potomac to hunt fish.

Peaky Blinders is a beautiful show for two main reasons. One is the music. Wow.

These are the random thoughts I have over the course of just a few minutes.  Hope you enjoyed.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Last Year of My 20's

I am definitely going to leave my 20's a hell of a lot wiser than I was when I entered them. This has been a really great year for me, I came to terms with the fact that my "healthy" lifestyle was just the opposite.  I made big changes in my life that weren't easy.  I began to love myself and as I did, I was able to let myself be loved by others.

Birthdays for me over the past five years have been hard psychologically.  The thought of eating a cupcake or having wine and a big dinner on a weeknight gave me anxiety - even on my special day.  This year, I would be lying if I said that guilt was completely gone.  But this year was different in that I could listen to those voices from a more objective perspective and remind myself why they are silly. Instead I focused on all of the kind things my friends and family did to make my day great.

Beginning with ice cream cake at our 10am Monday department meeting.

Then a special delivery from my friend Alexis.  She is so thoughtful, and has great taste in flowers.  Aren't they beautiful?!

Followed by a gift from a new friend at work, a gorgeous rose gold bracelet.  I was beyond excited and it meant a lot. Had to get the ring in there, as if I don't stare at it enough.

And the gift of soul from my friend Steph, who knows me all too well.

A lovely seafood dinner at the one and only Fiola Mare.

And a gift from my soul mate on the west coast that reminded me of my roots.  

All finished off with a wine tasting weekend in Loudoun County.

I couldn't have asked for a more special week.  I can't wait for what year 29 has in store.

I will get married, I will travel to the Greek Islands, I will spend a crazy weekend with my best friends. Not a bad way to end an era :)