Another Day, Another Challenge

Hi There!

I am back again, and I am ready to admit a few things to you. I am really struggling to eat all foods, not restrict certain foods, eat and not compensate, and stop comparing my food to what others eat. Why is this so hard? I know people always say that recovering from an eating disorder is hard, because you are literally changing the way you have thought and acted for years. These are learned behaviors which bring security and a feeling of control. In my mind, it is like learning to drive on the left side or the road rather than the right side when you have done this for years. This would take daily practice and intense focus and thought, but of course, in our quick fix society, we want things to be immediate and happen without much effort. Do not get me wrong, I am a highly motivated person, but I am also stubborn and will need to have a major reason to do something I do not want to do. Of course, I want to be healed and gain weight. As I said, I am not comfortable with my size, and actually, extremely self-conscience, like I will not wear sleeveless shirts in public because my arms are skinny, self-conscience of my how I look. This is not the life I want to live, but it is where I am at at this moment. The control and security I feel restricting my food is what brings me clarity, in a twisted way. I am praying for change in this for me, both mentally and emotionally. I know these behaviors are holding me back from having a baby, thriving in my relationships, and finding joy in daily activities.

Today has been hard, probably because I have had more time on my hands. I had a muffin I bought this morning with eggs. I did not know the number of calories in the muffin and instead of just enjoying the muffin like a normal person, I was worried all morning and did not eat a good snack. I think we will probably go grab dinner tonight where I will have either a margarita and tacos or quesadilla or a hamburger with beer and fries. This has made me so anxious, and I just ate a smaller than normal snack knowing I would be doing this tonight. My brain is constantly in “go mode” worried about these types of things, and to be honest, it is miserable. I know I have to challenge myself, even when it is hard, and although I say and really believe I want to gain weight, I refuse to do the very things that will make this possible. I am working and trying, and one day, yes, I may need to go to a counselor, as I did a few years ago. However, right now, I am hoping and praying I can work through this by relying on my God, my friends, and my family. I have also been to multiple dietitians over the years, and to be honest, this did not result in much change. I had not decided I wanted to change, and of course, they could not make me eat and do what I needed to gain the weight I need to gain in order to be a healthy woman. I HAVE to be ready and willing to make the change, and I believe I am. It is just going to take a lot of work.

Thanks for listening. Much love to all of those reading!

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Can I define my what I am struggling with at this point?

Hello!

I hope you all had a great weekend! As a teacher, my weeks, honestly, start to run together, and my weekend become my weekdays and visa-versa. In honesty, I do not like this. I like routine, predictability, and structure which is a contributing factor to my distorted relationship to food and exercise, because I can control these things and keep them within the boxes I create, even when I am unable to do this in other parts of my life.

I have been reading, listening to podcasts, and watching vlogs by girls who are recovering from eating disorders. I have known that I do not always have a healthy relationship to food and exercise, but I have never quite understood the extent to which I struggle in these areas. Although I am not a doctor, as I have read and listened, I do believe I would say I am struggling with at least some degree of orthorexia. For me, it is not a fear of eating foods deemed “unhealthy,” because of what they might do to me. Rather, it is a fear of loosing the control I feel that I have when I choose “healthy” foods and the identity I have come to place in this lifestyle. Sure, I am good to eat a wings or queso or drink a couple of glasses of wine, but if I have not “planned” for this, I have great anxiety. I will worry and wonder what my husband and I are going to do on a Friday night, because I think I need to plan out all of my meals for the day to fit around what we do. Going out to eat with friends leads to much thought and planning, as I scour the menu beforehand to choose the healthy option which fits within my limits I have set for myself in that particular meal. For example, I dread eating a big lunch, because then what about breakfast and dinner? I know I will be hungry for those meals, but I do not want to eat too much if I had a heartier lunch. Who wants to live this way? Do you think I enjoy my time with friends and family, as these thoughts course through my brain? No! I will admit that once I eat whatever food or meal I have worried about, even if it does not fall in the guidelines I feel comfortable being within, I am ok. I do not feel extreme guilt, once it is done. In fact, I am doing this very thing right now! I do not know what we are doing for dinner tonight, and I am trying to restrict my afternoon snack, which by the way needs to be eaten between the hours of 4:00 and 5:00, in light of the uncertainty of my dinner tonight. Agh!

In giving the examples of above, these are only a few reasons why I truly think I am battling this disorder. Now that I have admitted this to myself and those who read this space, I am praying, that I will be able to tackle this head on fighting the lies and fears which come with any mental disorder, which is what I believe orthorexia is. If you looked at me, you would probably think, “Hmmm, she is really skinny, but she is probably just a small person.” This is not completely untrue, but I know my heart, mind, and soul, are not well. I am really trying to challenge these beliefs and practices I have had for so long. I am setting goals for myself each week, and this week it is to not measure my food out and count the calories. I have always told myself I did this to make sure I was eating enough food, but really, I think I do it to make sure I am in control of what I eat. Another thing I am going to do is not change my order with substitutions of certain foods or leaving somethings off of my order. I am going to order food I normally would shy away from and leave everything that comes with my dish with it! I do think eating out will be very helpful with my recovery, as this will take away some of my control with preparation. I want to live my life and find joy in all areas of this precious life I have been given by my God.

I know this was a long post, and I really could have written even more. However, I will stop here for today but will pick up again soon with more ramblings and updates. Thanks for stopping by, and please know, if you are struggling with anything like this, I love you and am thinking of you!

I’m Back and What I am Learning

Well hello,

It has been quite a while since my last post. In fact, it has been over a year! In all honesty, not much has changed since then. I am still fighting my disordered eating, and I am still not fully recovered. I am still in love with my husband of four years, and I am still a teacher. I am still not pregnant, and I still do long for this to happen. I still have fears, I will not be able to have a baby because of what I have done to my body. I do not say this to be negative, but I say it to be real and honest. It is hard, and it takes constant work. I believe there are several reasons why my recovery has been so challenging which I will address throughout this post.

I am surrounded by diets and other people’s desires to loose weight and eat to be “healthy,” whatever that really means. I have realized, that I am highly influenced by this mindset. When those around me talk about diets or workouts, I feel a need to join in with them, but the catch is, I would never actually confess these feelings out loud. I am self-conscience about my size, and oddly enough, I want to gain weight and wish I could flip a switch and gain twenty pounds over night. The problem is, that I crave the control I feel by measuring my food and allowing certain foods at certain times while still restricting other foods if it does not fall within the arbitrary rules I have given myself. The whole thing is so screwed up, and believe me, I know that it is. Don’t get me wrong. I EAT, and if I deem it alright, I eat a lot and eat anything. I do not feel guilt after the fact, but rather, I debate in my head back and forth, if I will allow myself to have something. I add up numbers and calculate. Why do I do this? I really do not know. I wish I had an answer. I compare what I do or order with others, and I either feel proud of myself for my choices or feel justified in what I do. Are you exhausted reading this? Yeah, me too, and I am praying I can break this cycle. Do I need to be admitted in a clinic or hospital? I truly do not believe I do, because I know myself. When I make up my mind to do something, I will plan and work harder than anyone else to make it happen.

Recently, I have been listening to ED podcasts and watching U Tube videos by girls who are in recovery. This has been incredibly helpful for, particularly the U Tube videos. I have been journaling and reading my Bible, scouring God’s Word for verses I can meditate on and pray to help me fight this battle. I want to talk to my friends and family about it, but to be honest, it is private and scary for me to tell others I might have a problem. I have been writing down goals and ways to challenge myself, and I am committed to these changes. One thing I am doing right now, is not measuring my food or paying attention to calories. Sounds easy, right? Well, when eating out, yes, because I have no control over these things, and honestly, this is probably why I enjoy eating out. I feel  freedom to order whatever I want, because I do not know counts. However, at home, I think about these things endlessly, and it does wear me out mentally.

Right now, the issue I share most, with other people, is the fact I cannot get pregnant. My husband and I both know why I cannot have carry a baby. I am underweight, have practically no body fat, and do not have a period. Even with medicine, my levels are very low, in all the “female” areas, and basically, no amount of medicine will help, at least at this point. We have not gone to a fertility doctor, but I can tell you what he or she will say to me. I cannot have a baby, unless I gain weight and reduce stress. I seem to get a rush from being stressed and busy, and I am sure I overwhelm those close to me with this intensity.

I plan to post frequently this summer, as I will have more time. I pray my journey will be an encouragement to you, if you are on this same path to restoration and recovery. Also, I will post more pictures next time, as I am sure this is quite unexciting just to read never ending words on a page!

Much love, Many blessings, and I hope to talk to you soon!

Hello Again!

Hello and Happy Holidays!

It has been a really long time, since I have posted. I cannot give you a concrete reason why I have neglected to post, but I am making it a goal to post more frequently. Writing is a therapeutic activity for me, and I believe this space also keeps me accountable.

As I write today, I want to address what has been happening in my journey to gain weight. It has been such a long time since my last post, that I will not even attempt to completely catch you up on all that has happened. Therefore, I will just hit some highlights. I also want to focus on the anxiety that surrounds the holidays. I believe anxiety during this time of year affects everyone, but I also know it does impact each person in different ways. For some, it is the stress of family or the never ending spending sprees on gifts and activities. Others, like myself, struggle with anxiety from the crazy schedule which carries no consistency and routine. I am positive you could fill in the blank with your own anxiety triggers. Since I most identify with the anxiety of lack of schedule and routine, I will focus on this. I do not relax in knowing that I have no idea what each day will hold, when it comes to my schedule, and yes, not being in my food routine is also unsettling.

A very important event recently was a trip to my doctor where I was informed, that although previously told my blood work was all clean, it is not completely healthy. I have some levels in hormones which are low, and I will need to work really hard to raise these levels, as well as, take medication to raise them in order to conceive a child. Medicine as a “fix” is not my preference, and I KNOW everyone has differing schools of thought on this. Taking medication is a band-aid for an underlying problem, but I do know what I want the end result to be. I am willing to walk this road, in spite of the struggles which probably will come, but I also cannot try to do it on my own which is what I have been trying to do. This is one of the main events of the past few months, and my husband and I have had a few really long talks about it. He is concerned and does not know fully how to help and what to do which makes me sad and wishing there was a quick fix and easy solution. I have tried to shoulder all of this on my past few months, and this is unhealthy and does not help me heal.

The next subject I want to bring before you, is the joyfulness but also journey of this time of year. As I said, the lack of routine has left me searching for consistency, and there is not much to be found! I have tried to enjoy my slow mornings of reading and praying, sitting in quiet, and eating a homemade meal for breakfast while watching TV. I have spent a great deal of time with friends and family which has been really filling for my soul. All of these things are small, but they are special ways I am able to relax into the holidays.

However, I have still have some anxiety about the food which will not be my regular choices, because it will be out of my control what is served and when I eat my meals. One thing, I really tried to do over Thanksgiving was focus on the people I was with and not the food. This did create a much calmer environment in my head, and I was able to more enjoy the “time” rather than focusing on the “table.” When I met with my dietitian yesterday, we talked about a few challenges and goals for the coming week. One goal is to eat a portion, not just a bite, of foods I would never choose on my own. Also, I need to eat all 3 meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with snacks, even when I know I am having a big lunch or dinner, rather than skipping or skimping. Does this sound easy? For me, it is not, especially when our diet culture preaches the exact opposite of what I am seeking to do. I know I can do it, but I need to prepare for each situation.

If I am honest, I have not been completely diligent with gaining weight, and my commitment to it comes and goes. I do not understand why most people around me do not have to work as hard as me at gaining weight, and this can be frustrating. It is hard for me to step out of my comfort zone with eating, and I do not necessarily know how to anymore. I am having to basically reteach myself to enjoy all foods and not restrict or restrain myself from foods which are not on my safe list. The truth is that I will probably always be a person who does enjoy foods such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, fish, hummus, and other foods in this same arena. I doubt you will ever catch me ordering a Big Mac! The foods I enjoy are tasty, satisfy me and make me feel so good inside and outside. However, this does not mean that other foods would not be enjoyable and satisfying, at times, as well, and would be beneficial to me in social situations, in particular.

In writing the post, I hope to encourage all readers to embrace this special time of year. It can be so easy to become consumed with all of the food, gifts, visits, etc., that you are unable to truly gain the joy which comes in full during this time of the year. Many blessings to you and your families throughout this season!

A New Challenge

Hello!

Happy Wednesday! Since I am out of school for summer break, my weeks are very different and all of the days of the week seem to run together. What I mean is, I do not have “weekends,” because most of my days follow a “weekend routine.” It is nice, but I am very excited about getting back to school in less than a month!

The past 3 or 4 weeks have been very laid back and filled with errands, school prep, trip prep, and appointments, because the family I babysit has been our of town. They are back this week, and it has been so much fun! We have played baseball, gone “rock climbing,” played games, and all other things kids enjoy. The energy and excitement for anything we do, is contagious and brings such innocence to life.

My husband and I leave for a week long trip to Boston and Cape Cod, bright and early tomorrow morning. I am sure I will have all sorts of pictures and stories to share when we return! In speaking about our trip, this brings up a new challengeI have joined with my dietitian to institute throughout our trip, and I will, hopefully, be able to continue after our trip.

Over time, I have, mentally, created a “list” of foods which I deem foods I will not EVER order. In saying this, there I foods I really enjoy and foods I do not like too much, and I want to honor what my body desires to have. However, I am not at a point to simply eat intuitively, because this would mean I would not eat what I need to nourish my body, and soul. I have to literally force myself to eat foods outside of my comfort zone, because this is not my habit. For example, my husband and I went to dinner with my family at a deli. Rather than order a sandwich, I ordered a salad, because salads are “safe.” My dietitian and I talked about this, and the interesting thing is I could have even “built my own” sandwich and chosen exactly what I would enjoy, but a sandwich is something I have written of my list of foods to eat.

As my dietitian and I talked about our upcoming trip, she gave me the challenge to order one thing that I would not normally order but really should try and want to eat. I promise, this sounds easy, but it is not, for me. Since we are eating out all of our meals, there will be many opportunities for me to do this over the next week. I will have to mentally prepare myself to do this and make the resolve to follow through with it.

This aspect of my trip will be a fun challenge for me, because I do enjoy the experience of food and eating at restaurants. This will only enhance my trip and bring more enjoyment to living, for a week, in 2 new cities. I am super excited to visit Cape Cod and Boston, and I am already packed and ready to go. I have been in a bit of a “tizzy” and lacked sleep this week, as I have made preparations for the trip and thought about preparing to leave for a week long trip. This stems from true excitement, but it has left  me a little overwhelmed and tired. However, we are leaving soon, and I will say, I am totally able to disconnect and relax whenever I am on a trip, so I have no worries about a full rest and relaxation time to recover and prepare to return and jump into beginning of the school year preparations.

As I close this post, I do want to address a picture I saw on instagram this morning. It was a picture of “diet pills” next to a piece of cake, and it was boasting that this pill would reverse the after affects of eating the cake. WHAT??? Is it possible to eat the cake and realize, one piece of cake is not going to expand your waistline? This is a true picture of the pressures we experience to “make up” for unhealthy food choices, and the distortion of true health our society has created. We are surrounded by it, every day, and it can be a battle not fall prey to this.

Enjoy your Wednesday and the remainder of your week!

Much love!!

Some Tips to Talk About…

Hi There Friends!

Today, it is, of course, raining where I live! This seems to be our summer trend. While I am glad out state is no longer under the never ending drought, I would seriously love some more sunshine and pool time! Sigh… I guess we need to count our blessings?

I wanted to check in and share some tips from my last meeting with my dietitian, who, as I said, I LOVE. All of the advice I have been given has told me to choose health care providers who you trust and who you believe are working with and for you. I believe these things are true of her, and I am willing and open to share with her and take her advice. Sometimes, I feel like I should pay her to be my counselor, as well!

One newer aspect of our work is, that I now send her pictures of my meals. She looked at my blog and said the pictures of food were very helpful for her, because it allowed her to see, not just read in a food journal, my food portions. I have been doing this for her over the past couple of weeks, and each time we meet, she assess the pictures beforehand. At our meeting, she takes time with me to look at each picture, and we talk about which meals were on point with food choice and serving size, as well as, the meals where I need to make some adjustments.

After our meting earlier this week, one of the main areas I will be working on is increasing the amount of food in my meals. This would either be accomplished by me eating more in terms of portion size or adding something to a meal. For example, the meal below really seemed like a good amount of food when I made it, but I was hungry about an hour later! She suggested that I need to add a cup of yogurt or cottage cheese with berries, which would also round out the meal by adding some dairy.

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This meal consisted of lasagna made in an 8X8 pan. Although it seemed to be a generous portion, she said I might could have tried to eat half of the lasagna from the pan, rather than just a fourth to a third of the pan.

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Hopefully, you are beginning to gain some understanding of where she is seeking to guide me in my eating habits. I will be honest, it is not easy for me. It has become habit for me to eat a certain way, and I feel comfort and control in this aspect of my life. None of us like change, because it takes work, chiefly mental work. In light of knowing this about myself, I asked her if I could take pictures of almost all of my meals and snacks and send them to her, and she said bring on the photos! This will not only allow her to see what I am eating, and it will keep me accountable, preventing me from cutting corners or reverting back to previous habits. As I said, it takes work, but I am willing to do it!

Thank you, once again, for reading my thoughts in the space. I hope you and your family have a fabulous Fourth of July!

 

Back from a Break

Good Monday Morning!

We have experienced SO MUCH RAIN in the past week, and I am thrilled that the sun is finally making an appearance. This morning, it actually feels like a crisp fall morning, which is highly irregular for our part of south. I got out and enjoyed a slow walk earlier this morning soaking up the scenery and weather while listening to a podcast. It was truly relaxing.

The family I babysit for has been out of town, which means I have had a good bit of free time. This is a gift, because I have had extra time to see friends and can pretty much spend my days how I choose. However, I have struggled with this lack of routine and schedule, and I found myself googling “classes,” such as calligraphy, smocking, and pottery, I could take, but all of the classes I found were taking a break for this portion of the summer. I am trying to think of a house project I could complete, but our house is pretty settled for the moment. I will certainly update you if I choose a new venture in my current downtime!

I have made the decision to throw away my planner and not make, “to do,” lists. This sounds counterintuitive to being productive, but I see this as a challenge for me. I decided, that if I forget something in the day or do not complete a task I had envisioned, it was either not that important or it can be done another day. I do still have specific events stored in my i cal, but these are specific items which, generally, would affect someone else if I was to forget them. I will be honest, that it has been somewhat freeing, but I have had to be intentional about not, “listing” and “to do-ing,” because this has been my default for as long as I can remember.

In speaking of living more in freedom, rather than in my default desire to control myself, this has been a similar theme in my work to restore my health by gaining weight and gaining freedom from my control and restriction of food. I will be honest, this has been much harder, than I predicted. I think this has been due to the fact, that I have learned more about myself and have been more truthful with myself about the reasons why I have struggled to gain my health through gaining weight in the past. I will begin by telling you, that my dietitian does not weigh me in our meetings. I thought this strange at first, but when we talked about it, she told me she wants me to EAT and not be obsessed with the number on the scale going up or down. I agree with her in this decision, because I had always thought I was a goal person and needed to see this to make progress. I have realized though, that I also want control in this area of my life and the number on the scale is something I cannot and should not try to control. My progress is based, at this point, by eating foods, I had previously deemed, “unhealthy,” if there is such a thing. I also am working to eat much more in the quantity of food than I have in the past, instead of restricting what I eat. Controlling and restricting, both the type of food I eat and the amount of food I eat, has become second nature to me, and I do it without thinking about it. This is the key, I have to think about ordering the salmon from my favorite restaurant, not just with a salad, but with rice or potatoes. I have to think about eating, because I am hungry, even if it is not my typical mealtime or snack time. Why has this become such a struggle for me? I believe, I have made this a habit in my life, and like all habits, it is hard to break.

Throughout this journey I have been on this past month, I have also become so aware of the, “diet culture,” we live in today. I have had to unfollow some people on Instagram or stop reading certain blogs, because they were filling my mind with thoughts which are not beneficial for me. Rather, I have tried to listen to podcasts, look at Instagram or Facebook feeds, and read blogs that encourage me in my pursuit to gain health by gaining weight. In honesty, listening to and reading these resources is what has made me realize I cannot do this on my own, and that this area of my life is something I am mentally struggling to overcome. As I hear others stories of growth and recovery, I have seen, although health is defined in our culture by size and weight, this simply is not a way to live life. Fitting into this mold, becomes the definition of who you are and sucks the life out of you. What is still so difficult, is, although I can be mindful of what I see and read, I cannot escape this culture in my daily life. EVERYONE talks about weight loss, diets, and body image. I was at lunch with a couple of people a few weeks ago, and every single person there was on a diet and talking about their diets for a portion of our meal. They said they could only order certain foods, because their trainer would see what they eat. Without even realizing it, I began to think about what I ordered in this same light, but I do not believe this was their fault. I am just sharing where my mind quickly goes. I do know this can be an aspect of some gyms and could be helpful for some people. However, for my situation, I am glad, that where I choose to give movement to my body, does not carry this mindset or these practices. I do have friends and family who model for me and encourage me to live healthfully rather than constrictively, but even they are human and sometimes fall in the same arena in topics of discussion and lifestyle practices. It does seem, everywhere you turn,, there are people who are trying to loose weight and change their bodies, and this quickly becomes the topic of conversation. In these moments, I have to speak truth to myself and remember who I am. That I am faithfully loved and fully accepted, and I am created for a far reaching purpose in this life, which is beyond myself.

I thank you for reading this post, friends, and I hope it is a wonderful week! I will check in soon with more thoughts and updates.

Much love!

Thoughts on the Docs

Hi There!

I have not posted much this week, because first, my time has seemed to run short each day. Also, there has not been much update from last week! However, I am waiting to have my oil changed and just saw my OBGYN, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Let me dive in, first, to some of the thoughts I have been having on the work I have implemented from my last dietitian visit. Overall, it has gone really well. She did a great job helping me implement a plan that fits my lifestyle and preferences in food. I have, though, had several “a-ha” moments, since my visit with her last week. I had dinner with a sweet friend earlier this week, who is also a dietitian, and we talked extensively about what the dietitian had recommended for me. We also talked about some of the mental labeling and rigidity I can tend to carry with my lifestyle, particularly in food. In saying this, I completely agree with my dietitian, that at this point in my journey, I need to have a “plan” which I am following. Otherwise, I will fall right back into my old habits and fail to make any progress. On the other hand, I want to practice giving myself the freedom, mentally, to eat as much food as my body needs to gain weight while also giving myself freedom to eat whatever my body desires, even if it deviates from our “plan” which can cause me some anxiety.

Another aspect of our work, I want to discuss with my dietitian is the use of an online food journal. Once again, due to my tendency to become OCD about tasks and following instructions, I get very uncomfortable when I don’t hit the required calorie mark or if I go above my calorie goal for the day. At this point in my work, I almost feel like e-mailing her, each day, with the foods I have eaten, might be best. This way, I am accountable, but I am not becoming obsessive about logging food. As I mentioned, I need a plan right now, because my major need is to gain weight. In the past, when I did not have a plan and accountability, I fell extremely off track. However, I also think it is important to train myself to eat more intuitively, rather than restrictively.  I really want to be intentional about choosing foods which are healthy, fuel my body, but challenge my current food rotations.

If you have made it this far in reading this post, you are a champ! For my final update, I did go to my OBGYN today. He is very caring, listens intently to me, and is intentional about our time. I will not go into too many details, because this is a public post.:) I will say, though, I left feeling great comfort. I was not able to do any blood work today, but my husband and I are making plans to do this near the end of my summer break. Although, it will not be an easy road without complications and challenges, my doctor assured me, that he will be able to work with me to get my body where it needs to be, to one day, bear a child. I am going to continue to seek out further information, on my own, regarding this aspect of my health, but I am also going to trust him. In the future, if I am not confident in the medical advice I am given, I will need to, wisely, seek out further medical advice. At this point, I am doing what I need to do to gain my health and will work from that place.

Thanks so much for reading! I hope this offers, at least one reader, less of a feeling of being alone in a life event similar to my own. Remember, gain what you might have lost, by giving yourself the gift of the freedom to do this! I will be back soon with updates from my dietitian appointment tomorrow.

Much love!

 

Rotating Breakfasts and Lunches

 

Hello!

I am a creature of habit. I literally could eat the same schedule every day, and it would not bore me or phase me one bit. Granted, as life changes, my schedule changes, but this more evolves over time. I do not necessarily set out to change habits and routines in my life, because I am content with and find comfort in a set routine. I do understand this mindset can be a very positive thing. However, I also know my comfort in routine can cause me anxiety and frustration when this routine is changed or challenged. I would assert this is one of my main struggles in gaining weight, because it is difficult for me to make changes to my set routine. I am seeking to gain by giving myself the peace to make changes which are beneficial for my growth.

As I speak about routines, I want to share with you two breakfasts and two lunches, which are dietitian approved, and are easy, quick, and tasty!

To start us off, I have been loving egg and toast breakfasts! I cook two eggs in coconut oil or ghee, toast two slices of sprouted grain bread, and top the bread with an avocado and hemp or chia seeds. A second breakfast I have enjoyed is overnight oats. I combine 1/2 cup of oats,  1/2 cup of Fage whole milk yogurt, 1/2 cup of canned coconut milk, and 1T of chia seeds, and I stir this all together and save it in the fridge. I then top it with almond butter and more nuts or seeds when I am ready to it. Both of these breakfasts are delicious and filling, which is a major plus!

I also have two different lunches I have been enjoying recently. First, I hard boil 6-8 organic eggs, and I roast 2-3 large sweet potatoes ahead of time. Then, I can quickly combine 3-4 eggs, 1 sweet potato, an avocado, hummus, and sauerkraut, and throw this on top of spinach and mixed veggies. Another lunchtime meal I have been making includes a can of tuna or salmon combined with a container of whole milk yogurt or cottage cheese and hummus, and I will usually add a squirt of dijon mustard and sprinkle on some herbs. Then, I put this mixture on top of a salad, and I will chop up a large apple to throw on top or have a large sprouted wheat wrap alongside of the salad.

I hope this gives you some breakfast and lunchtime inspiration. For me, packing a breakfast and/or lunch can become a chore, so it is always nice to have some “recipes” in your back pocket! Have a fabulous Memorial Day weekend, and I will be popping in with a recap of my weekend which I am sure will include some pool time. Much love!

 

What am I learning?

Hi There!

This week has been relaxing, as well as, full of fun activities I enjoy, and I hope this has been true for you! I am currently sitting in one of my favorite coffee shops here in Birmingham, Alabama, which is the city I have lived in for my entire life. I am in LOVE with their turmeric ginger tea, and I also find their decaf coffee incredible which is hard to say about most decaf coffees I have tried.

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Moving on from the tea and coffee ramble, I promised, that I would update you on my meeting with my new dietitian, whom I met with on Tuesday. We had a 2 1/2 hour meeting, and at the end, I felt encouraged and motivated to set new and high goals for myself. She went above and beyond in her time with me, and I connected really well with her, and I also felt supported by and encouraged by her. She has sent me several “meal plans” which include foods I would regularly eat, but this plan will also give me a baseline for the number of calories, carbs, protein, and fat I should be eating at each meal. She will also track my meals, every day, on an online food journal, and I will meet with her each week. Honestly, many of the foods and amount of foods, are how I might eat, but the key is frequency. In the past, I have really been diligent for about a week. Then, I fall of the chart with my goals, which is when the weight I might have gained, falls off, as well. I am confident her daily tracking of my food choices will be beneficial for me and her accountability will be the changing factor. I will need to be very conscious of choosing the healthy and nourishing, but higher calorie food, which is a different mindset than I have carried in the past. I will be honest, cooking chicken in actual coconut oil, rather than just a “spray,” has tickled my taste buds, in a delicious way!

P.S. I am supposed to eat a handful of granola or nuts every time I get in the car which has taken some force and intentionality to implement, but I will do it!

One things I have thought about a lot recently, is how I can only control my response, not others’ responses, to my actions and choices, in all aspects of my life and, specifically, in my journey to gain weight. I want to continue to exercise and eat foods which fuel my body. I have found some people are very supportive and desire to come alongside me in this, but I have also been experiencing people in my life who doubt me. They doubt, that I can do it. They doubt, that I can change. They even look at me with pity and judgment. Yes, this is frustrating, particularly for the affirmation-seeking girl that I am, but I believe, this same thing happens for each of us in our daily life choices. However, it is our choice in how we respond. We cannot try to control other people’s thoughts or actions, or we will go into a crazy tailspin. We can only control ourselves, and our convictions and beliefs should be what drives our thoughts, choices, and responses, not how we think others will view what we choose to do or not do. This is difficult for most people, but I think it can be life changing.

I will return soon with further thoughts and updates! I leave you with a quote I saw on Pinterest this morning…

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