December 18, 2014
by Sam
29 Comments

Thinking Out Loud: The Post-ED Identity.

Hi friends!

A few weeks ago, I linked to this post, written by Kaila of Miss Skinny Genes. Have you read it yet? Go ahead, I’ll wait.

To say that this article hit me hard is an understatement. I found myself frantically nodding along to everything she was saying about identity, recovery, and the self-discovery process.

She discusses how as a kid, she felt like she had to change what she was interested in in order to ‘fit in’ – that’s something I related to completely. As a kid, I think I was a bit of an outsider. I was into video games, reading (I started reading Stephen King novels around age 10), highland dancing, and heavy metal (thanks to my older brothers influence). Is there anything wrong with any of these hobbies? Absolutely not – but as an 11 year old girl in a tiny elementary school, it’s not exactly how you win friends.

Maybe deep down, this is why the binge/restrict cycles started when I was still a preteen, and why they got bad in high school – being the alternative, video-game playing, book-nerd alternative/punk/goth girl (whatever label you want to throw on it) doesn’t exactly make you popular. Like Kaila, I think I was embarrassed – embarrassed by who I was and what my interests were. I didn’t care about fashion, or the OC/whatever TV show was popular back in the day, or playing any sport besides field hockey. I thought I was too alternative, too nerdy, too weird to really be accepted outside of my core group of friends (who were awesome, by the way!).

Eventually, I also added ‘too chubby’ to the list of reasons why I felt like an outsider, and so began my quest to lose weight in high school through restrict/binge cycles. This continued through my university years when my disordered eating habits turned into a full-blown eating disorder – I wasn’t making friends, and still feeling too alternative and weird to fit in with the people I met in school.

I let myself believe that in order to be accepted, I had to be thin. So thinness became my identity – first the quest for it, then maintaining my disorder so I could stay thin. My identity revolved around my body, my food, and my exercise. I was so rooted in my eating disorder that I didn’t have room for anything else.

Choose to Become

(img source)

Even throughout my recovery, food and exercise was still central to my being. I didn’t want to be sick anymore, but I wanted to recover in the ‘healthy’ way. To be honest, this meant giving up my obsession with food but still maintaining some degree of leanness. Society and mass media have drilled into our heads that healthy = lean, so I told myself had to find a balance between letting go of my disorder and ‘letting myself go’.?

Like Kaila states in her post – it wasn’t about recovery. How can you recover an identity that doesn’t really exist anymore? I was so focused on food and exercise for so long, that I had no identity outside of it. I think this is what makes true, real, mental recovery from an eating disorder so difficult. After building an identity around food, fitness, and being thin, you feel empty without it – so you find yourself calculating your macros, googling ‘healthy’ recipes, or god forbid, having a full-blown relapse into your eating disorder because you don’t know what else to do. You don’t know who you are when food and fitness aren’t filling up all your time and brainspace, so you find yourself running right back to those obsessions. So what do you do to help you loosen you be rid of them?

You discover who you really are.

This is what this last year or so has been about for me. Not recovery, but discovery – learning about who I am. This is what has lead me to real, raw, true recovery – learning my identity and my passions. Discovering what I really love instead of being focused on food and exercise.

Self Discovery

(img source)

In the last year or so, I’ve learned:

I don’t really care for recipe development. After years of spending time trying to ‘healthify’ recipes, I’m completely over developing my own. I still enjoy the cooking/baking process, but I’m fine with making the recipes I come across. I haven’t posted a recipe on here in ages, and honestly, you probably won’t find too many more over the coming months/years/however long this blog exists. And that’s fine with me.

I love helping vulnerable people. My current job and my favourite jobs in my past have been in the non-profit sector working with vulnerable populations. This is where I feel most valuable and most proud of my work – helping people that desperately need it. I think this is where my real life passion lies.

I want to help everyone realize their own beauty. This is why I’m so dedicated to positive self-image and helping people in ED recovery – I want everyone to realize how beautiful they are and that they’re deserving of everything life has to offer.

1.5 decades later, I’m still obsessed with Stephen King. He just keeps getting better and better.

I really love my dog. But I’m sure you knew that.

I’m unapologetically affectionate. If we’ve met in person, I can pretty much guarantee I’ve hugged you at least once. I’m not sorry.

Horror movies are my favourite. Followed by animated/comedies. If it makes me jump, I’m in love with it. But I also love anything Disney/Pixar and pretty anything Seth Rogen/Jonah Hill/Jason Segel. Basically, I want movies to either make me laugh or make me want to cover my eyes. I don’t watch a lot of dramas or ‘serious’ movies, and that’s fine with me. I didn’t even like The Godfather.

I still love video games. Unfortunately my XBOX doesn’t work very well with the TV here, so I haven’t played lately. I miss it!!

I’m slowly discovering my spiritual side – and I love it. These last six months or so have been about discovering meditation, declaring my intentions and my manifestations, and learning how to trust the universe and my intuition to guide me in the right directions in life. I feel so much more peaceful than I think I ever have in my life.

I am an introvert. I need my ‘me time’ so that I’m able to decompress and reflect on my day. I prefer small groups and one-on-one to big crowds.

I love getting a drink (or drinks) with friends. Being introverted doesn’t mean that I’m not social at all. I love being around the people that matter to me and catching up over a glass of wine, a meal, or just hanging out.

I love being outside. When the weather’s nice, I love the energy that you get from being outdoors. I just love how peaceful, relaxed and free it feels – camping, beach days, being lost in the woods – I love it all.

I value humour above most things. I love laughing, I love making people laugh, and I love the people who can make me laugh. A few months ago Chef-friend and I were in the the car and I almost had to pull over because he had me laughing so hard that I couldn’t breathe and my face hurt. I think that is my favourite feeling.

I’m on a journey for real love – both self-love and from the people around me. With discovering all these new things about myself, I’m learning how to truly love myself at my core. I’m also learning about what I need from other people in my life – both romantically and from the friends that  I surround myself with. I want to feel surrounded by love, and I’m learning what kind of people I need in my life and in what capacity to feel that way.

As time goes on and I put even more distance between myself and my past food/body obsessions, I’m sure I’ll learn even more about myself and who I’m truly supposed to be. I think this is what recovery is really, truly about – discovering who you really are and completely letting go of the food/fitness identity that keeps you stuck – at least a little bit – in the ED mentality.

Thanks to Amanda for letting me think out loud about this today!

Thinking Out Loud

Have a good one!

<— Who are you and what are your passions, without mentioning food or fitness?

<— Any other comments about this?

December 17, 2014
by Sam
43 Comments

WIAW: Tower of Pizza.

Hi there! It’s Wednesday, so I don’t even need an introduction.

WIAW

Although with a title like that, you know it’s going to be good food!

Breakfast:

All the festivities of the weekend had me thinking I needed some greens when I woke up on Monday. But since the only way I can eat veggies in the morning is in sweet form…

Smoothie Bowl

A green smoothie it is. Almond milk, spinach, PB2, protein powder and frozen banana, topped with a mix of cereals.

Plantfusion

 

I found this PlantFusion sample in my bag of random snacks and decided to try it – it’s pretty good!

Lunch:

yup.

Avocado Toast

 

Avocado toast with fried eggs and a side salad. Although the bread I used was hearty, it was super small so extra avocado on the salad. Which is fine with me.

Snack:

Here’s where things got tricky. I was working the evening shift for the first time so I had no idea how dinner/breaks went. So, I brought some snacks with me to tide me over in case I ate dinner late.

IMG_0811

 

Yay snack stash! I ended up eating the Perfect Bar, which was a good thing because dinner didn’t happen until 10 pm.

Dinner:

pizza

 

Quite literally, a pizza tower. I ordered one slice Hawaiian (always my favourite at any ‘pizza by the slice’ place) and one veggie, but the guy gave me an extra veggie slice. It was a bit much for me so I passed the extra off to a coworker. It just looks like such an impressive pile, doesn’t it?

Dessert:

I didn’t really need a brownie bar when I got home, but I had one anyways.

Brownie

 

I also didn’t need to go back for a second slice, but hey – these things happen sometimes. I am powerless against chocolate and peppermint.

Have a good one!

<— Can you eat veggies for breakfast?

<— Favourite pizza toppings?

<— What’s your favourite Christmas cookie/treat so far this year?

December 16, 2014
by Sam
43 Comments

#ABblogmeet.

Hi friends! How’s life treating you these days?

I took yesterday off from blogging because work, so today I want to give a quick recap of the blogger Christmas party I went to Saturday night. When I decided I was going to move to Calgary, I had no idea that the area housed so many healthy living bloggers! I knew of a few, of course, but I didn’t realize we had enough to warrant a Christmas party. So when Jen reached out with the idea, naturally I was thrilled.

So Saturday night, a bunch of us got together at Ange’s place for a wine-themed Christmas party.

ABblogmeet

Thanks to Jo for the photo!

Jen, myself, Lindsay, Jo, Leana and Ange. Such a fabulous group of ladies! Although Ange seemed to miss the ‘blonde’ memo ;-)

As for the wine party aspect, everyone brought 2 bottles of the same bottle of wine. Everyone blind taste-tested each one and voted on their favourite. The winner gets to take home the second, unopened bottles of wine. Awesome, right? Since there were six of us and we somehow ended up with 3 reds and 3 whites, we decided to vote for the whites and reds separately.

WIne Party Winners

Jen and Ange were our winners! I really need to go to this type of party more often.

So with a group of bloggers, naturally there was:

Lindsay Taking Photos

Lots of picture taking (hi Lindsay!) 

Food

And lots of food. This doesn’t even include the baked brie that Lindsay brought or the ‘fun burritos’ that Jo brought, not to mention desserts.

Speaking of desserts, this was my contribution:

Brownies

I made Peppermint Brownie Bars via Love From the Oven. These were fabulously rich and chocolate-y. Because basically, the best way to make new friends is to offer to give them diabetes.

Dessert Plate

Dessert plate – Jen made some sort of epic brownie cake with a funfetti cookie dough layer in the middle. So good. It was one of those nights where I went to bed feeling overly full, but hey – it happens! Especially this time of the year.

Because Ange is so awesome, she let me stay on her couch Saturday night. We stayed up until 1:30 pretending to watch Love Actually but really just talking and drinking more wine.

It was an awesome night with lots of fun conversation, laughter, food and wine (on both of those counts…clearly). It will absolutely be happening again soon!

Sunday

Sunday morning, Jen, Ange, Jo and I planned to meet up at One Cycle Spin Studio for a 10:30 spinning class.

Spin Class

Another photo courtesy of Jo!

This was definitely out of my element – I’ve only taken a few spin classes before and none of them were at an official studio. So I was a little bit intimidated.

Spin

 

I did end up enjoying myself though! It was a really challenging class. To be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of the ‘strength training’ track though – we used itty bitty two lb weights (ugh) and did weird arm movements that made me feel like I was a cheerleader in Bring It On (is anyone else in love with that movie?). Otherwise, I thought it was a fantastic workout – I’d do it again! Especially because it was dark with a disco ball which is clearly the best part of those sorts of situations.

Because Ange is amazing, she let me hang out at her apartment for the afternoon until I had to work at 5. She made us an amazing post-spin brunch:

Eggnog French Toast

 

Eggnog french toast made with cinnamon raisin bread. AMAZING. Naturally, maple syrup added post-picture.

We hung out and did blogger things for the afternoon:

Blogger Things

Which means we chatted, hung out on our phones/laptops, and watched trashy TV.

Merlin

 

And laughed at Merlin doing silly cat things. He is pretty fantastic.

So basically, it was a fantastic blogger-filled weekend. Thank you SO MUCH to Jen and Ange for arranging the meetup, Ange for hosting (and for letting me take over her living room for a while) and all the bloggers that came out. I can’t wait to do it again!

Have a good one!

<— What did you do over the weekend?

<— Are you a fan of spin?

<— When was the last time you met up with another blogger?