‘Clean Eating’ Is Not A Cure All.

Eating nothing but whole unprocessed foods does not erase years of torment over caloric content. It does not eradicate self hatred or judgment, labeling of food as “good” and “bad.” The word “cheat” still exists when eating something unhealthy.

Knowing it takes weeks and months to transform my body into a better version of itself does not omit frustration from my daily repertoire. It does not lessen my impatience.

Learning about how food-like products negatively affect every little inch of the body, inside and out, does not keep me from wanting to drown my sorrows in a bag of one thing or another. The wiring of my emotional state has not been instantly cured.

Deep down I am still that broken anorexic girl. Still searching for comfort in all the wrong things and trying desperately to heal.

I won’t discredit just how far I have come. Over the years I have spent counteless hours learning about how to take better care of myself mind, body and spirit. And to a degree I have made strides. I can eat fairly normally, especially dining out. The guilt has simmered. MY weight has steadied.

Behind all of that though still lie the negative emotions toward food. I still make judgments on myself. I still worry about eating too much and moving too little. Most days, as much as I don’t want to be, I am still consumed by a flood of thoughts and emotions surrounding my eating habits and my weight.

Following Whole30 has been a big eye opener so far. But I still have lingering negativity about what I am eating, even though it is all “clean” or “good.” Most days I under eat and on those I don’t I feel compelled to workout a little harder to compensate. It’s a constant negative reinforcement even though I am doing everything “right.”

Having completed 20 days (as I write this), I know for sure I am headed in the right direction. I have removed emotional crutches and forced myself to face everything head on instead of filling up on empty distractions. I have started to put myself first. For once. And it feels great.

For years I didn’t know what true hunger felt like. I kept myself from the joy of connecting with what was on my plate. I placed far too much emphasis on what I should or shouldn’t have and how my body should or shouldn’t look. I allowed a dark place in my mind to dictate who I was at every moment. But the buck stops here.

Learning what I have so far and knowing there is still so much more to absorb gives me hope of one day really unshackling myself from the past. While I don’t feel as defined as a recovering anorexic as I once did, I cannot deny it is – was – a part of my existence. It ruled me far beyond those days of complete suffering. It was so entwined in my recovery and where I wanted to go in life. And I feel as though I have finally set myself free.

I still have 11 more days to go until I can start reintroducing certain foods back into my diet but truthfully there are so few things I am missing. There are a slew of physical discomforts I am happy to see go and none I want to attempt to bring back into my life. My mind has felt so much clearer over these last three weeks and not only in relation to what I put into my mouth.

I have finally been able to dig in deeper and pull up the motivation I had always hoped to find. My body is being shaped into what it was meant to be by birth, not the cover of a magazine or someone else’s opinion. And I can drink black coffee with a little more ease than I used to!

I already have plans to do another Whole30 in the future, likely after the holidays, because I have gotten so much out of it already. And I am really stoked to see how I will continue to grow and move away from my tortured past and into a brighter, healthier, yummier future.

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Is This All There Is?

Over the last several months of making more time and space for myself I’ve started to confront some very real concerns about my future.

I have been put in some less than desirable situations involuntarily and others, well… I dove head first into those messes. While I’ve moved on from and let go of a few things that were no longer serving me, I still have a long way to go before I’m able to look around and say,”I’m good here.”

I have a steady job which generally I like. But it doesn’t challenge me. It doesn’t push me to learn, to better myself, to believe I am capable of greatness. I have a few good friends, and they are lovely. But none I can look up to, none too ambitious, none pushing me to let go of fear and embrace all possibility.

And so I started wondering, is this all there is?

From a young age I believed in my heart I was different, and I believed I was special. I was determined to make something of myself, for myself. Success was my driving force. I knew I was smart. I knew I was creative. I just needed a focus.

The focus has come and gone in so many ways. None of which I’ve been able to cling to long enough. The years jaded me, aged me, and started to kill off my long held beliefs that I could do and be anything I wanted. I’ve gone so far into survival mode that anything other than is merely a blip on the radar.

So where do I go from here?

The future scares me. Losing my ability to learn scares me. Not being able to provide for myself or Reilly terrifies me. Some days the fear is so overwhelming I literally feel like I’m choking and cannot breathe.

Yet I soldier on.

Deep down I still know I am destined for more, far more than this. I am more than the hustling 9 to 5 grind. I am more than this environment. I am more than being someone’s secret. I am more than other people’s mistakes. I am more than my fears.

And there is so much more than this.

It all awaits me, as long as I stay in the driver’s seat.

Whole30: Day 14.

I am officially two weeks into the Whole30! Yay!

I am still very optimistic and loving this program. I’m reading the accompanying book It Starts With Food as well, and I have to say it’s been an eye opener. It’s so easy to overeat or eat non-whole foods when you don’t understand just how damaging they are to your body. I feel far more critical of what I am willing to put into my body the deeper into this book I get. Go read it!!!

My caloric intake has definitely improved, although it isn’t always easy. My workouts are improving, and my body is definitely getting stronger. While doing cardio fix this afternoon I definitely held on longer than I thought I could. I felt amazing when I finished!! Not only because I completed it without much modification but also because Reilly was there watching me. She was pushing me on and motivating me when I needed it most. Showing her how we can keep going despite being tired and how we build strength and stay determined, these are all things I do my very best to show her as often as I can. Being able to set a good example for her is important to me, and these past two weeks have given me plenty of opportunities.

My psoriasis hasn’t really been bothering me, but the other day my skin was red. It’s much better now and hopefully it continues to stay that way. That is something I am really wanting to keep at bay by eating better. I’ve had a little more bloating since I’ve been trying to eat more but not too much discomfort in that area. My sleep is still kind of awful. The lucid dreams that wake me in a panic to catch my breath are no fun but that’s a product of my overactive mind. I’m doing my best to make changes in that area as well.

I did start to experience something outlined on the Whole30 timeline this weekend: cravings for foods I used to eat. Since I increased my physical activity, dealt with a little extra frustration and also lost out on some decent sleep (coupled with that darn lingering fatigue) I started to feel lazy about cooking. I really didn’t do much of it this weekend, instead opting for really quick throw together meals. There were times when I wanted to grab a handful of this or that or finish Reilly’s sandwich instead of wasting food. It would have been so easy to give up and let myself have the junk but I didn’t. I reminded myself that I made a commitment, not only for 30 days but for the rest of my life. I wanted to feel better long term, not just for a short stint. And so I quickly snapped myself back into my new reality and grabbed something better. I made sure to keep plenty of fruit, veggies and nuts on hand. It made a world of difference. As today has gone on the cravings have decreased, and I feel mentally back on track.

It feels great to officially be over the halfway hump. It has been easier than the last time I gave it a go. I’m confident that now it will be a little bit of smoother sailing and my body and mind will continue to transform for the better.

Week 3, here I come!

Why I Go Home.

I left in a hurry the other night. I went home to a situation I didn’t want to be in in that moment. I let my emotions get the best of me for a brief minute and knew I needed to get out.

I left in search of something. A better feeling, steady ground, calm, peace. I landed amongst too many people but where I needed to be, with a cool wind stroking my face telling me there will be better days. My negative mind fought against this comfort, insisting there was no true purpose to my existence, my recovery should never have been, and the life I desire is so far out of reach it is basically impossible. But my legs carried on although my mind raced and attempted to strike me down. The sun set, the air cooled, I couldn’t get out of my head.

Then I got in my car to head back to where I didn’t want to go. There waiting for me was a tiny little voice. “I miss you,” she said. Two seconds is all it took to shatter my heart.

I went home to her. She is always why I go home.

Whole30: Day 10

Day 10. Almost halfway through!


I actually haven’t experienced a lot of what is outlined on the Whole30 timeline up to this point. The fatigue has been an issue since about mid- to late June, and I’m hoping by Day 31 I will begin to feel a little more human.


My energy levels have risen a little on some days though. And I think since my protein sources are very limited as a vegetarian (seafood + eggs) I have been a little extra hungry. On the flip side, for the first few days I wasn’t really hungry at all. I do keep a food log (the program discourages calorie counting but that is not why I food log), and I have seen my caloric intake some days needs a major boost. I’m still figuring out what works best for me and how I can decrease hunger without consuming too many calories. I’ve tended to rely on nuts for satiation, and while fat is good for your body, too much of anything is still too much. Working on it!


I can already tell I have lost a little weight or inches. Or maybe it’s just the lack of bloating, which I find weird since I have been consuming more vegetables. I haven’t stepped on a scale or measured myself since both are also discouraged until the end. They aren’t my primary focus anyway.


Why am I doing this? I am hoping to heal my gut, boost my energy levels, and reduce psoriasis inflammation. Another big big reason is to heal my relationship with my body and food. Since I am only a week and a half in at this point I didn’t expect to see or feel major physical improvements. I do think the lack of bloating and stomach aches is a good sign though. But my attitude toward food has started to change for the better.


The other day I actually looked in the mirror and not only liked what I saw, I felt comfortable in my skin. I don’t feel the need to suck in or hide any part of my body. I don’t compare myself to anyone else or beat myself up over food choices. I actually don’t even really feel tempted by junk foods (and there were delicious looking chocolate covered marshmallows on the table at work!) Eating whole, natural, healthy foods reminds me – loud and clear – just how bad those other foods or food-like products make me feel.


There have been times I was super hungry and wasn’t really in the mood to cook. And in those moments I was reminded how easy it is to make the wrong choice, to consume something that isn’t going to make me feel good at the end of it, and how making better choices helps me to feel good on the whole.


I have actually renewed my enjoyment in cooking. I genuinely love everything about it, and I don’t even cook elaborate meals! There is something so satisfying in blending together some of nature’s goodness and taking in all of its pleasures. I’ve cooked more consistently in the last two weeks than I probably ever have. The more I do it the more I want to keep doing it. Not only am I eating more healthy but I am more satisfied because I took the time and care to put together something really delicious and nutritious.


So overall, as of Day 10 I am very optimistic. There were moments I started daydreaming about what my first meal ‘back’ would be. But to be honest, I intend to mostly keep eating this way. I can say that with confidence, even on Day 10!

Who Am I?

I think there comes a time in nearly everyone’s life when they start to question “Who am I?” And not in a vague, superficial way. But really and truly “Who am I? What is my purpose here? Where do my passions lie? What am I contributing?

There may be a point where you’re so sure of where you’re at. You think to yourself this is it!, this is what I was put here for. Then sometimes that world collapses around you like a broken jigsaw puzzle, and although you scramble to put back the pieces in some semblance of what you once thought you knew to be true, your efforts are fruitless. The ideal you once believed in is gone. Blown away in a gust of wind. And there you stand, back at the beginning asking, “Who am I?

There have definitely been times in my life, in the past few years, when I felt so sure I was on the right path, that what I was doing was “it,” I was finally on my way. But life had other plans for me. Threw more than a few curveballs at me. Knocked me on my ass more times than I can count. And when I finally got up I was staring out into a void. Asking myself, “Who am I?

Sure, I could rattle off a list of who I might describe myself as: I am a daughter, an aunt, a sister, a friend, sometimes a lover, I am an office worker, I am blonde, I am a recovering anorexic, I am a book lover and an aspiring writer. But those are all merely ways in which to describe my human experience. Who am I really, as the observer?

I want to live my life rich with experience and moments, with joy, love, heartache, anger, and connection. I want each moment to pass through me, without clinging to it, in order to be able to remain present and alive.

Ultimately I want to rest my head at night knowing I gave back, that I did my best, that I was grateful for every minute and what it brought to me. I don’t want to live ego driven. I want to be lead by my heart and with pure intentions.

I’m just not sure how.

Where does this road begin?

Whole30.

Today is Day 1 of my Whole30 journey. A journey I have been longing to take but could never seem to find the courage, or as I would tell myself “the right time.” Until now.

I have been soul searching something fierce this summer. I deactivated nearly all of my social media accounts, started reading more, spending more quality time with my family, moving my body more, cooking more, connecting more with myself. And so now this seems like the logical next step.

I have made no secret of my struggle with food. At one time going so far to one extreme and now battling at times with the opposite. It’s a rollercoaster I am ready to step off. A struggle I am willing to part ways with. And a person I am wanting to grow from.

Why Whole30? Why do I need a structured program to follow instead of going it alone? Because I know I can’t do it on my own. I have followed Whole30 for years, attempting it once, and I have seen the fruits of the participants’ labor.

I want in.

I want to mend my relationship with my body and with food. I want to feel good as I nourish my body which in turn will nourish my emotional well being. My hope is to be a little more courageous, brave, more of a fighter and a giver, more direct and purposeful. On Day 31 I want to have walked so far out of my own darkness that the old world crumbles behind the existence of who I was always meant to be. I need the support of a community and I need my hand to be held as I make this 31 day journey back to the basics and back to good health.

My mom has decided to join me although not 100%, and I am really grateful to have face to face support. This is important to me as it is one more big step on the road to finding myself. Although I am stubborn as hell, I know I cannot do this without people behind me.

I have done basically all of the reading up on how each day will feel, and from my past experience (making it half way through), I know it all to be completely true. I’m extremely optimistic. I don’t want to revert back to my current ways. I want to move beyond them instead of being weighed down by them.

This is going to take a lot of time, effort, patience, and self realization. And I am so ready. I knew I would eventually circle back around to this at some point, when the time is right. Now it is.

I am going to document my Whole30 experience here, as reference for myself in the future and for anyone who stumbles upon it to maybe draw some inspiration from.

Have I mentioned yet how excited I am to begin? 🙂 I hope you will follow along.

For more information, visit www.whole30.com and be sure to check out the accompanying book, It Starts With Food.