September 22, 2014
by Sam Kolpin

Ask Me Anything – Recovery and ED Advice.

Hi friends! How was your weekend? Mine was awesome – a lot of time with friends and fun-run to boot. 

But to start off the week, I’m presenting part two of the answers for my Ask Me Anything series. You guys had some questions for me about EDs and recovery, so that’s what I’m focusing on today. Just remember that I am not a licensed therapist, counsellor or dietitian, and that all of these answers are based off of my own experiences. If you are suffering from an eating disorder or disordered eating, I highly recommend seeking professional help.

1. You have mentioned pseudo-recovery. Did you ever hang out in that stage, how did you know you were there, and if so, how did you push past that point? Or did you just notice others in that pattern?

I absolutely hung out in the pseudo-recovery stage for years. I was eating enough to maintain a doctor-approved healthy weight and was exercising quite a bit, but not so much that it was becoming unhealthy. At the time, I didn’t really recognize it. I knew I was healthier than I had been in my eating disorder, so I basically assumed that was as good as it was going to get.

But in reality, I still manipulated my eating, thought about food too much, and on occasion would get anxious about my food choices or change things in my social schedule around what I wanted to eat. I think pseudo-recovery is a necessary stage for most people in recovery, but we have to realize that it’s not the end-stage. In order to push past that point, I had to recognize and accept my behaviour and what was happening. Eventually, I realized that full recovery sounded a lot more appealing than what I had been living, so I had to push myself to really eat what I was craving and when I was craving it. Once again, I had to force myself to push past the anxiety I felt around food or my food choices and really just start living the life I wanted. I talk more about it here.


(img source)

As for whether or not I can recognize the behaviour in others – of course. But from my own experiences in pseudo-recovery, I know that trying to call someone out for their behaviour or trying to force them to change won’t accomplish anything. All I can do is offer to be there for them and offer support and advice when they’re ready to understand and make the necessary changes.

2. When you started eating more to recover from HA, how did you know when it was ok to start adding in exercise?

This is a tricky question, because it really is going to be individual for everyone. I had to look for signs from my body that exercise was going to be ok again. Basically, once I got my period back, I knew that my body was well on it’s way to recovery. As my cycle started coming back and on a more regular basis, I started adding in more exercise. I’m planning on an HA update tomorrow, so I will talk more about it then!

3. What sort of help did you get for your eating disorder? What were the main things that helped you recover?

The biggest thing in recovery – you have to decide that you want to recover. All the professional help and support in the world won’t lead you there if you haven’t decided that you really and truly want your health back.

Choosing Recovery (img source)

Once I made the decision that I wanted to get better, I lived and breathed recovery. I wrote in my journal every night so I could try to tease apart my feelings and learn what emotions I was covering up by not eating. I read recovery books. I completed workbooks and exercises to repair my relationship with food and fix my self image. When I was struggling, I reached out to everyone around me and asked for support. I challenged myself with ‘fear foods’ on a regular basis. I looked at the people in my life who seemed to have a healthy relationship with food and tried to emulate what they did. 

On the professional side of things, I worked with a doctor, a dietitian, and therapists. I saw my doctor on a regular basis to monitor my weight and my vitals. I got a meal plan from a dietitian and checked in with her regularly to ensure that I was following it. I started attending group therapy sessions every week so I knew that there were other people out there who could relate to what I was going through. I saw a therapist that specialized in eating disorders and met with her for over a year.

All in all, the biggest things that helped me recover were: my willingness and drive to recover, having a meal plan so I didn’t have to stress over what or how much to eat, having professional therapy, and having a good support system.

In all honesty, when you dive into recovery, it will feel like it’s taking over your life. But it’s the best decision you’ll ever make.

Recovery(img source)

4.  What advice can you give for someone trying to find a balance between bingeing and restricting?

The best advice I can give for this situation? Work with a registered dietitian and get yourself on a meal plan. It’s hard to get off a bingeing/restricting cycle if you’re not eating regularly, and getting yourself on a regular meal plan will help make sure that you’re not skipping meals, getting too hungry, and finding yourself in a binge. It is possible to just plan to eat every 3-4 hours, but working with an RD and getting a meal plan set up will give you a little more motivation and accountability.

But that’s all for me today – I hope that answered some of your questions!

<— Is there anything you want me to address in my HA update tomorrow?

<— Any other questions or comments about what I discussed here?

September 19, 2014
by Sam

Five Things Friday 09/19/14.

Grr. I just typed out this post and WordPress ate it. Take 2…

Hi there! Happy Friday!
Five Things Friday How has your week been? I swear, time is flying by right now – I’ll be in my new apartment in about 4 weeks. Craziness.

But let’s Five Things Friday, shall we?

5 Things I’ve Eaten Lately:

1. Mom-made Pad Thai.

Pad Thai

Ok, so not the best picture, but I promise it was delicious.

2. messy banana protein oats with peanut butter and jam.


Blame the microwave.

3. Kabocha/butternut squash, spinach salad, avocado and sriracha on rice cakes.

Eggs and avocado

Still going strong.

 4. Green smoothie (North Coast Naturals chocolate whey protein, frozen banana, peanut butter, spinach, almond milk) and Nature’s Path Vanilla Sunrise.

Cereal Topping


5. Bison burger with srircha and honey mustard, spinach and dressing, and a microwaved sweet potato with butter and cinnamon.

Bison Burger

My go-to dinner if I’m just cooking for myself. It gets the job done.

5 Things Happening This Week:

1. I went to a friend’s house for a Nicholas Cage-themed movie night earlier this week. The first movie we watched? Vampire’s Kiss.

Umm, what is this?! I knew Nick Cage was a little off, but that might have been the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

2. Over the summer, I was going to bed around 11-11:30 and waking up around 7 or 8. But these days? I’m lights out around 1:30-2:00 and waking up around 9. You know you’re unemployed when.


also an issue. (img source)

3. Apparently, I really, really like yoga. I’m willing to drive all the way across town in rush hour traffic (about 50 minutes) in order to get to my favourite power flow hot yoga class. Worth it.

4. I don’t remember what I had for number 4. Dammit WordPress.

5. I’m doing the Colour Run on Sunday! A few friends of mine asked me to join their team, so I was all for it. I’ve never done this run before (or any 5k, for the matter) but I’m so, so excited. Should be good!

5 Things I Pinned This Week:

1. Are you?


2. I love it when a truthbomb tells me exactly what I need to hear.

Leaving Behind

3. I think this is one of my biggest lessons of the last few years.

Let Go

4. Yes, yes it is.

Find a way

5. And something delicious to finish off – Peanut Butter Caramel Pretzel Cookie Cups via Lovely Little Kitchen.

Peanut Butter Caramel Pretzel Cookie Cups

I could go for one of those right now.

<— What are your plans this weekend?

<— What time do you usually wake up?

<— Have you ever done a Colour Run before?

<— If you go to a gym or a yoga studio, how far do you have to travel to get there?

September 18, 2014
by Sam

25 Things.

Good morning! Happy Thursday!

This little survey has been floating around lately – I know Annette, Tina and Ashley have all done it. So naturally, I’m hopping on the bandwagon.


1. I’m happiest when…I’m with my friends and/or family! Lately, I’ve been feeling especially grateful for all the amazing people I have in my life. 



Seriously, I’m so lucky to have the friends and family that I do.

2. Especially when..I get the chance to reconnect with friends that I don’t see very often or have fallen out of contact with. Nothing like rekindling old friendships!

3. I’ve always wanted to visit… Scotland. New Orleans. Fiji. Greece. France. New York. Las Vegas. New Zealand. Australia. Ireland. 

Basically…everywhere. I love travelling.

Playa del CarmenPlaya del Carmen, Mexico, two and a half years ago. I want to go back.

4. My family and I…have a lot of fun together. I’m close with both my parents and I love hanging out with my brother. Actually, a benefit of being at home is being able to see them whenever I want! (and they pug sit…)

5. I was a terrible…volleyball and basketball player! (I’m stealing Annette’s answer and going with sports on this one). Soccer and field hockey were a different story, however.

6. My first job was…a cashier in a chip wagon. I was 12, and it meant that I got to go to literally every fair and festival in the surrounding area. Pretty fun! And after eating deep fried Pogos all the time, I could never go back to eating them out of the microwave. It just wasn’t the same…

Pogos P.S. is Pogo a strictly Canadian brand? I just realized I had no idea. (img source)

7. I could probably eat… chocolate everyday. 

Oh wait…I do that.

8. I stole… change from my parent’s change jar. Both as a child and recently. Sorry, I had to pay for towel service at the gym yesterday!

9. I was born the same day as… Tila Tequila, Drake, and Shenae Grimes. Same year as the last one too. But the only one I knew about for most of the past few years was Tila Tequila and I was a little annoyed that I shared a birthday with her.

10. My all time favourite film is… ugh, this is tough. The Nightmare Before Christmas will always be my absolute favourite.

The Nightmare Before Christmas(img source)

Honourable mentions go to Beauty and the Beast and  Alice in Wonderland. Can you tell I like Disney?

11. I do a pretty mean… birthday cake. I always insist on making the cake/pie/whatever the birthday wants for their birthday for all my family.

Chocolate Therapy

In 2013 I made Sprinkles Bakes Chocolate Therapy Cake for my mom’s birthday and it was ridiculous. And amazing. And I can’t decorate at all but my cakes always tastes good, at least.

12. I am still mad that…umm…I’ve got nothing for this one. I kind of wish I hadn’t insisted on moving out during grad school so I could have saved some more money. But oh well – it provided me with a lot of learning experiences.

13. I met my husband…. I’ll get back to you.

14. I always knew I wanted…to help people. This is why I love getting your emails or comments asking me for advice for anything relating to body image, ED recovery, HA, or anything else I can help you with!

15. I’m not afraid to… go on adventures. Test my limits. Learn new skills. Go after what I want. Climb mountains.


Literally and figuratively.

16. I make the best… again, birthday cakes.

17. I have almost no patience… for slow walkers. Seriously, get out of my way.

18. I am a Canadian but I could care less about hockey. Seriously, it does nothing for me. Give me football.


…yes, we are Steelers (Polamalu) fans.

20. I spent… a lot of time cuddling with the pug this week.


He used to sleep curled up near my feet, but lately he’s been insisting on curling up into my chest and basically spooning at night. I ain’t mad, he’s a good cuddler.

21. I wish my folks… will come visit me in my new home after I move next month. Which, of course, they will!

22. At 5, I was deeply in love with… Barbies, Polly Pockets, and putting glue on my hands so I could pick it off when it dried. I wasn’t the only one who did that, right?

23. I believe if everyone were more positive and self-loving the world would be a better place.

24. I can’t stand… judgmental people.

25. Whenever a horror movie is on, I watch it. Bonus points if it’s either supernatural-y or a zombie movie.

And that’s it! I always pick these surveys for a quick, easy post…and then they take forever. Oh well. 

Have a good one!

<--- What are/were you terrible at? You also wouldn’t want to hear me sing…

<— What was your first job?

<— What famous person/people do you have the same birthday as?

<— I eat ____ everyday.