Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"


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Today Was Just A Good Day

The title says it all. I was going to make some banana bread tonight for the gym but instead I just had to sit down to write down my thoughts and share them with you. A lil self reflection on the day so hopefully I don’t bore you all. I feel it’s necessary to share the good and the bad so here goes nothing.

To preface: I have been getting some help from another coach lately, Ryan. He has worked with a number of people with gut problems and helping them heal while also using his experience in bodybuilding and nutrition to help them their reach their goals. Overall, I have only just begun with him (about 1 week in) but I’m very excited to see how things go as he is trying to help me to reduce my inflammation (which I did test positive for in my lower bowel but was unexplained) and my body’s acidity issues while also helping to gain weight and continue my strength gains. This first week has been a slow introduction of a few new supplements and natural aids (spirulina, ACV shots, maca powder and MSM) and although it’s early to tell, I have had some very VERY good tummy days. I’m hoping that I get more and more of those because you have no idea how much of a difference it makes when I’m having a ‘good day’. 

So today…

Started off with an amazing lift with an extra boost from someone I talk to quite frequently. She has complimented my progress before, but today was different…

Her: You’re looking really good.

Me: Aww, thank you (smiles…)

Her: No really, you are looking really good, I mean it…

I really didn’t know what to say, I just kept saying thank you. It was just the way she said it that got me. It was like she was excited for me. She could see my energy. I dunno, it just felt really heartwarming.

The big thing is that she sees me train often, so it’s not likes been a month’s difference there. No, she’s noticing slight differences with shorter time intervals so that is a big thing.

…..

My friend Lexi met me at the end of my workout and spent some time with some rehab exercises and I showed her some glute activation exercises to help strengthen that area as she as a bummed out knee that was told by her physio that she needs to work on those areas. We then spent the rest of the afternoon together starting with post-workout noms (I made her a vegetarian greek pasta salad with chickpeas) followed by a trip to GoodnessMe! for me to show her some things as she is trying to make some changes in her diet and ya’ll know that I’m always up for questions and foodie talk.

She then gracious took me to Zehrs where she laughed as I legit squealed when I saw OSTRICH steaks. Oh the foodie in me reveals itself.

….60 bucks later ….

She dropped me back off at home, we chattered for a bit and then she headed off to see her Gran back in my hometown.

Spending more time with her I reflect back on how much I’m thankful that we reconnected (we are from the same hometown and high school). We never lost touch 100% but when I came into Guelph and realized she was living her, we got together and it seems as though we never have a quiet moment. We just talk and talk and talk and I can really appreciate that kind of friendship. 

I did my usual, napped (lolz), had dinner, etc but then as I left to go out for my nightly walk (which is something I still do despite Rita not being here, but Lexi joins me sometimes now), I decided to challenge myself a bit because…

I was feeling good. And THANK YOU RYAN!

Like today was a ‘good day’ tummy wise.

What that means is that I wasn’t feeling bloated out of my mind after dinner and wanting to walk around in a bag…

I had found a pair of cropped jeans that actually fit me from American Eagle a month or so back and because they were on sale and WHITE (I love white!) I bought them. I folded them up with the receipt and left them on my shelf. Well, I decided tonight was going to be the night, I was gunna put those damn things on and go for my walk.

DO IT.

Now this may sound silly to most, but people are shocked when I wear legit pants. It’s true and it’s not just a “I’m a gym rat and live in Lulu 24/7 or nothing” thing either (well that is a part of it..). No, it’s also a personal struggle for me that has hung over me for..wow for almost a decade since I was sick. Other then shorts in the summer time, which take me a bit to get re-adjusted to mentally, I have a really big problem with tight pants because I’m afraid of folding. So, especially after dinner and a full day of eating and drinking, lets just say tight clothing is a no.

But tonight was not one of those nights.

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I’m having a good day, so dammit I was gunna put those jeans on! Was I feeling absolutely amazing?

No, but I didn’t spend the whole time fiddling with them or doing weird checking behaviours… and I kind of felt good.

Big movement forward! Psychological win for tonight.

So as I made my way around the last bend of my walk, I literally couldn’t help but smile.

Today was a good day

Good days mean a happier, peppier Chelsea. One who beams and glows and I swear others must catch my mood and vibes because I find myself being the most chatty on those days. Smile are contagious all. 

And because of that, I had to write it down because that’s what I do with my feelings these days.

Much love my Friends!

-Chelsea

 

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Time To Think Rationally…Currently

Happy start of August my friends!

Hope all that had the day off on Monday enjoyed their long weekend!

So I just wanted to drop a line very briefly as we move into the next month on some of my gut stuff. The reason why I thought to do this was because I actually conquered a fear yesterday morning all in the name of gut happiness..

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Yes my friends. White rice.

Sounds silly to be afraid of white rice, but you see, I have been afraid of white rice for years now and can say that I haven’t touched the stuff since I was like 10.

Why? It’s pretty natural, so why be afraid?

~Processed

~Nutrient Void

~Simple carbs…ZOMG SUGAR!

~No Fiber

These are some of the many thoughts that I have believed for years all thanks to the media. So with that, I refused to eat it. Brown rice only!

To be honest, I don’t enjoy rice really (boring…) so that is also a reason why I don’t tend to eat it (I love my rice cakes though!) but with all of my gut struggles, it was time to really key in on some of my diet staples and some associations started to be formed.

My two hardest meals, where I now take those new digestive-aid pills (I talked about them here) is after my pre-workout and my dinner. Those are the meals that my stomach is often ready to put up a fuss that then lasts onwards either into the next morning, or throughout much of the morning and afternoon.

You know what is constant in both of those meals?

My bae (what do you think of this word? I actually kinda loathe it…)..

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Sweet taters. My beloved orange (or white or purple!) gems.

I have tried to be naive about it for so long because I just cannot fathom eating less of them then I do but I looked it up and they happen to be a somewhat high FODMAP food and are only supposed to be eaten in small doses.

Whats the tummy friendly amount for most?

1/2 a cup (or around 100g)

How much do I consume in one day normally…

ummm…maybe 300g…ooops. Well this is awkward.

Epic fail on my part. But it’s one of my main carbohydrate sources and since my carbs are high, well so is the amount of those. Seeing that, it would be no surprise to me if they are NOT helping with my tummy struggles.

So for the next week, I will be doing a white rice trial for all of my pre-workout meals to see how my tummy feels. Yesterday (1st day) it felt a bit crampy at first, probably because it wasn’t used to it, but then it was all good and actually I noticed less bloat so I hope that is what continues.

I will keep you updated.

….

So on this topic and going back to my ‘thoughts’ on white rice, I wanted to take this moment to address why those thoughts are irrational from both a gut health AND overall health perspective.

For gut purposes.

What foods do you eat when you’re sick? Rice. Plain. White. Rice. Yes, so it should be of no surprise that this should be easy on the tummy. White rice is a simple carbohydrate that doesn’t take the body much effort to digest and with that, less discomfort is often the result. So, as an alternative GF carbohydrate source that I need to digest quickly and not sit angrily in my stomach during my workout, this seems like a great choice…

…on paper that is…

Yes, on paper I can see that it’s a great option for me, especially during this time when apparently my stomach hates everything, but I also then have to battle the anxiety that has been created from those society driven beliefs that have kept me from this grain for so long.

So with that, here’s why eating white rice is NOT bad for you.

White rice and the body.

Th first thing that often comes to people’s mind is:

OMG simple carbohydrate, that means a sugar spike and insulin levels going crazy. Insulin means fat gain so therefore, no rice for you.

Plus, hello, it’s so high in carbs…

While white rice is a simple carbohydrate, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t or can’t eat it. Furthermore, it doesn’t mean that if you eat it you will get fat. There is a time and place for foods like this… I believe.

Explain…?

Okay, so it is true that white rice has been stripped of most of its nutrient properties during the processing procedure, which leaves it mostly being a source of starch and not much else. This loss of fibre is also what contributes to how quickly the body is able to digest it because fibre is ultimately one component that slows the breakdown and absorption of the carbohydrates. This then does have an effect on your blood sugar and therefore insulin levels as well.

sugar spike

That being said, who generally eats a bowl of white rice alone?

Often you are eating it with a protein source and quite possibly some vegetables, both of which slow digestion of the entire meal. So just because the rice no longer has the fibre in it, that doesn’t mean that it’s a blood sugar spiker in the context of a whole meal.

Make sense?

This is one of the various reasons why the glycemic index is flawed and shouldn’t really be considered when looking at the ‘health’ of a food item. The original study that looked into it had fasted subjects eat JUST those single food items, so yes, in those cases, things like white bread, white rice and potatoes would definitely have a larger effect on blood sugar than something richer in fibre, protein and fat.

Context people, context.

High-GI-vs-Low-GI-examples

So, will white rice make you fat? No. One, because no single food makes you instantly fat. Two, you eat it with other things which will have an effect on how the body handles it.

Check out this review for some info!

 “Thus while it is clear that combining foods does influence GI and that the addition of protein and fat to a carbohydrate containing meal can appreciably reduce the glycemic response (Venn & Green, 2007).”

It has been known for some time that insulin response cannot be predicted based solely on the glycemic response to a food (Venn & Green, 2007).”

So does that mean I can have white, processed stuff all the time?

Well I’m gunna say no on this point. While I’m arguing that white rice is not bad for you, it doesn’t have the nutrients that other grains and starch sources do. So looking at prioritizing nutrients here, for pre-workout or post workout when you are looking for something fast digesting and a good carbohydrate source, white rice is great. Elsewhere in the day, I would suggest using carbohydrates with a lil more staying power.

~Oatmeal

~Brown Rice

~Sweet potatoes

~Etc Etc

These have more fibre which will keep you satiated longer and therefore delay your next meal. One big reason why people may gain weight eating more processed foods is simply because they are hungry too quickly and end up OVER EATING and thus going over their daily calories.

Fibre. Protein. Fats. Water dense.

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These guys keep you full!

Furthermore, you have to have variety in your diet to get all of your required micronutrients (i.e. minerals and vitamins). Having white rice before my workout doesn’t change the fact that I still hit a high amount of fibre and get all my micros in a given day.

So with that I will wrap it up here. To conclude I will say that I’m happy to take this leap of faith and go against what society tells me about eating white rice. I will test and see how it works as a fuel for my workouts compared to the sweet potato and also how my stomach deals with the change.

Have a great week friends! 

-Chelsea


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Why Do I Need So Much Food?!?!

My friends,

How are you all? Things are beautiful over here FINALLY! Full sun, 20 degrees and we are all loving life. This is the type of weather I think we are meant to be in all the time because people are just happier. Do you find that too?

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My lovelies. We apparently need a taller friend so that selfies can include all three of us in our entirety. #ShortArmProblems

As for general life, I have one exam down, one to go then I start my new research job next Monday. Student life for ya. Never ending. As for my health, still working away and still making gains in the gym, so a positive direction I would say. Oh and how could I forget…

More and more food. This weekend I actually got another BIG increase and, as normal, my heart began running a marathon in my chest..

Why I red the email before my exam I have no idea… Self sabatoge much?

The increases always do this to me, but this one was rather dramatic and I’m getting anxious for Monday (tomorrow) when I have to deal with it starting.

This leads me into the topic I wanted to discuss today. I don’t know if it was this increase that sparked this question in my mind or if my constant complaining about why my tiny body needs so much food just to even maintain my weight has finally made me want to check things out but, regardless, this was my random question that led me to some journal reading…

Does your metabolism heal fully post recovery?

Is my metabolism messed up and that’s why I can’t gain?

These are what I started asking myself. Maybe I never really went into search because I just assumed it was similar to dieting…

Eat less food…metabolism decreases

Eat more food…metabolism begins to heal, readjust and speed back up to normal.

So given what recovered individuals go through, I just assumed that during the severe restriction that the metabolism would be damaged and then with the re-feed it would just heal itself back to normal eventually provided you kept the weight on.

I was also told by the doctors that post re-feed, those with anorexia tend to be in a ‘loosing mode’ but given that I gained the weight during the re-feed, obviously, and kept it on when I left, I never really thought about things like my metabolism much. I really never thought about this problem at all to be honest.

It also never occurred to me to think about it throughout the years because I was just eating when I wanted to. It wasn’t until I lost (not intentional, I just wasn’t aware in the beginning what I was doing and then being unable to reverse it) and was ‘trying to gain on my own’ that it really hit me that I needed to eat A LOT.

This is when the questioning started.

I’m 5 feet tall.

I’m tiny.

Yes I work out hard but for real, I’m eating more then some guys cutting…

Why?!?! 

This is hard I don’t want to have to eat this much

Now hear me out, I rationally know that everyone’s body is different and that exercise and building muscle leads to an increased amount of food required, but by me being a person who used to look at the diets of others (including competitors), it began to mess with my ability to stay rational when it occurred to me that I was eating more calories then they were.

They work out hard, they are taller then me and eating less?!? 

WTH??

I actually started getting really irrational and thinking that maybe I wasn’t seeing myself right and that I was ‘getting bigger’ because.. how could I not be? I’m eating a house (Or so thought at the time…). It just didn’t make sense to me that I was eating what felt like so much and not gaining anything so every possible theory, no matter how crazy and unrealistic it was, came up.

I’m still working at not comparing and doubting my rational side but I decided to actually look into the research instead of just letting my ED spread it’s lies in my mind and driving me crazy.

As I began to search around, I figured that this information would be quite beneficial to many of your guys, as I know that there are some of my readers that have gone through similar situations. So I hope you can gain something out of it or just at least find it interesting.

Oh the body and it’s workings…

So what did I find?

***Disclaimer. Please note that the research behind post re-feed metabolism is still young and many of the the findings are not in full agreeance but there does appear to be a general consensus that there is a period of “hyper metabolism.” ***

To keep it brief and not too wordy (so I loose you all), I will stick to the main bullets from some studies then sum it up at the end.

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(Tatyana, 2014)

So not only do those suffering with anorexia (AN) have to eat an increasing amount of calories throughout the re-feeding process to start and continue to gain weight at the same rate, they also need it afterwards. Specifically, there tends to be a duration of time post re-feed where a significantly higher number of calories needs to be consumed then what would typically be estimated for an individual of the same height/weight without an eating disorder history just to maintain that restored weight.

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Marzola and et (2013) did a PubMed review and reported quite a few interesting findings:

~The graph above suggested that, compared to healthy weight female controls, patients with anorexia nervosa (AN), both restrictive and binge/purge types, required more calories per day for their body weight directly after treatment. Following one year (the long-term recovered), restrictor types still required significantly more calories for weight maintenance then controls.

~Although studies appear varied, there is a quite a dramatic increase in calories per kg of body weight that has been found to be required for weight maintenance in those with AN. When compared to normal weight female controls, who needed approximately 20-40 cal/kg/day for weight maintenance, those with AN have been found to need 50-60 cal/kg/day or more to keep the restored weight on. Post-refeed the increased calories appears to be required or rapid weight loss is often the result.

Personal Response: Perhaps this is why there is such a high rate of relapse? The fact that patients are no where near psychologically recovered directly after re-feeding and then on top of that have to maintain such a high caloric intake may be too much of a demand for them to handle. Furthermore,  weight loss is even more favourable as the body is slow to fully heal and has this hypermetabolism issue. 

~They did also mention that this tends to normalize itself after about 3-6 months.

~Overall, this suggests that those with anorexia become hyper metabolic during the re-feed process which is actually kind of the opposite of what occurs in cases of calorie reduction for the sake of weight loss in overweight individuals. In the latter case, the overweight struggle to loose weight because as they reduce their calories they become HYPOmetabolic so the slower burn makes it more difficult for them to reach the required deficit. On top of that, if their calories are increased, they rapidly gain because their metabolism is in a less efficient state. Contrarily, for the individual with AN, they need even more calories then before just to gain anything because their metabolism is just hummin too fast. This increase, however, is not that it’s more efficient but rather, that their bodies are simply using more thermogenic processes then normal. In other words, they are just burning off more of their intake as heat rather then using it for building or attributing to new mass.

What about Bulimia Nervosa?

As you saw with the graph above, those suffering with bulimia (BN) may not have the same issue. Directly after treatment, Marzola et al (2013) found a slight increase in caloric needs, but that did not hold true for the long term as it did for AN. Similarly, an earlier study by Weltzin et al (1991) that looked at the difference in weight maintenance requirements in patients with restricting AN vs. BN found that AN requires a significantly higher number of calories to keep the restored weight steady.

Does it last forever?

It doesn’t seem to.

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(Kaye, 1986)

Most studies that I came across gave a range of anywhere from weeks post re-feed to 6 months where the metabolism was generally restored itself and the caloric needs returned to what was considered normal. Although the exact mechanism behind this hyper metabolism during and post re-feed is still unclear, there have been a few suggestions as to why it occurs. One of the more consistent theories is that the endocrine system takes a bit longer to fully recover and return to a normal functioning and so for weight to be sustained post re-feed, the increased caloric intake is required to be sustained (Kaye, 1986, Mazola, 2013). Another contributor to this increased need may be increased exercise. Many studies have found that those with AN tend to have greater exercise generated energy expenditure through behaviours such as fidgeting, pacing, and increased walking (Kaye, 1986). As a result, their caloric needs would increase more then the average person in addition to their already higher requirements for weight stability.

Alrighty for the sake of not boring you too death by having something 40 miles long, I suppose I will end it there. What did you think?

As a final reflection back to my own situation, I suppose some people would call what I have gone through a relapse as I lost a dramatic amount of weight post re-feed back when I was 16. Although it was not intentional and it was so slow that I really didn’t pay attention until it started becoming more of an issue, the point is that I went back to unhealthy body fat and weight levels for my size. As a result, working with my coach is more like a re-feed period once again. Lucky him…

Due to that, it looks like I may have to endure this caloric surplus once again (FML right?) in order to get fully back on my feet. This is also on top of my increased needs from lifting….I can say that I’m thankful that my mind did not relapse, if you know what I mean, but still, the physical gaining process and accepting will not come without dealing with body image issues and dysmorphia. This unfortunately will then promise to make this journey quite the mind fu** for me.

But I just need to…

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So to conclude, this research was interesting for me to do as many things are making more sense to me, even more things then I shared in this post. I hope you can benefit in some way from this discussion and, as always, hit me up in the comments with your lovely thoughts.

Much love! ❤

-Chelsea

References:

Kaye, W., H., Gwirtsman, H., George, T., Ebert, M., H., Petersen, R. (1986). Caloric consumption and activity levels after weight recovery in anorexia nervosa: a prolonged delay in normalization. International Journal of Eating Disorders5(3), 489-502.

Mazola, E., Nasser J., A, Hashim S., A, Shih P., A, Kaye W., H. (November 7, 2013). Nutritional rehabilitation in anorexia nervosa: review of the literature and implications for treatment. BMC Psychiatry, 2013(13)290. doi: 10.1186/1471-244X-13-290.

Tatyana, (2014). Hypermetabolism in anorexia nervosa. Retrieved April 17, 2015 from http://www.scienceofeds.org/2014/05/07/hypermetabolism-in-anorexia-nervosa/

Weltzin, T., E., Fernstrom, M., H., Hansen, D., McConaha, C., Kaye, W., H. (1991). Abnormal caloric requirements for weight maintenance in patients with anorexia and bulimia nervosa. American Journal of Psychiatry, 148(12), 1675-1682.


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Cupid, Shoot Me Now…It’s Okay To Miss Love

My Friends!

Happy Valentines Day! Despite not thinking that days like this should be taken too seriously, I mean, if you’re in love you shouldn’t only celebrate it once a year, but I hope all the love birds out there make sure that they are spending some time with their other half today.

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Speaking of lovey dovey and all the gushy things, I’m gunna open all up to you all today a lil bit. Real talk time. Promise a long post is not what I’m trying to do here HA.

Love.

It’s a beautiful thing. It’s feeling like you want to be with someone always. They are your happy place. You adore taking the time to do things for them and their touch is probably the best thing of life.

Being Single.

This is a great place to be too. You have the time to learn about yourself through doing all the things YOU WANT. No compromises. You do you and you grow because of it.

You don’t need to take these lovey holidays to dwell on the fact that you don’t have that special person in your life at the moment. It really saddens me to hear others are sad on this day or hate when this day comes around because really it’s just another day.

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If you like chocolate, this day represents the national “it’s chocolate on sale’ day.

It gives you a reason to watch sappy Valentine’s day rom-coms in your PJ’s.

It’s a fun day to write cute Valentines for your friends.

You can be a lil kid again and make all your food heart shaped and in all shades of red and pink. 

See, so many fun themed things go on this day so what’s to hate on?

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All this being said, it is okay to take the time to think about things and let those feelings really sink in and be processed. Recently, not just today, I have been really been thinking about how I feel about relationships.

I miss them.

I miss the snuggles. I miss taking care of someone. I miss feeling connected with someone on that other level. Texting, calling and just feeling close with someone.

I miss it all.

I started to feel frustrated with myself because I have been saying how happy I am with my current level of confidence and and yet here I am feeling slightly upset with being single for this long.

Then I stopped myself and thought about the fact that I’m not upset I’m single. I’m not feeling as if I cannot function without a righthand man in my life. I’m not actively searching out for a guy to jump into a relationship with.

I’m still confident being on my own, but I’m also okay with also saying that I miss being in a relationship.

It doesn’t make you needy to want to be in a relationship. It doesn’t mean you’re insecure. It means you are a human and you’re not afraid to be vulnerable, open and honest about your feelings.

So today I hope you all enjoy yourself whether you are with your lovebird or whether you are with your friends, your family, your dog, your TV, your blanket, WHATEVER. Most importantly, think about yourself and make sure you give yourself some love too.

Cook yourself something bomb.

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For Breakfast–> Link

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Lunch

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And Dinnah –> Link 

Buy yourself your favourite flower and put it somewhere you can look at it’s beauty every day.

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Love Gerber Daisies! 

Go snuggle with your furball.

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Call your best friend and tell them you leeeerrvve them this much…

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Valentine’s Day is more then just for couples. It can also be about love in general. Love who you are wherever place in life you’re currently at.

Love you all! ❤

The Valentine’s Candies, love em’ or hate ’em? Cinnamon hearts are disgusting despite loving cinnamon. Not huge chocolate fan either so I would say leave ’em.

-Chelsea


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Strength Isn’t Something You Are Taught

Strength is something you earn.

Something you GAIN.

Something you have to go through hardship to achieve.

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With strength comes the realization that you are patient and that you are competent.

You truly can put your fears aside and do what you tell yourself you can do…

….which is anything you put your mind to.

My friends, I briefly introduced my newest journey in my previous post, which was that the time had come where new changes were needed. My body has reached a point where I am no longer able to keep it afloat on my own and so I have reached out to my new coach, Mike for help.

This is my new journey and it is something that has to happen as I have no choice but to go up or my health could take a turn for the worst.

Please let me tell you that none of this was intentional. I did not plan to loose weight, in fact, loosing in any way makes me incredibly anxious because obviously, as you can see, it’s too hard for me to put it back on. The issue with recovery is that if you’re not always on your guard, certain fears can cloud your judgement and let things slip away from you.

So what are these changes?

Well I can’t go into full detail because as soon as Mike gets me acclimatized to a bit more food (addition of two more meals to my day) to stretch my stomach a bit and to ensure I don’t mentally get too overwhelmed, he is completely taking over and not wanting me to know much about my macros and such. Basically he will be giving me a meal plan and I just have to weight it out and eat it.

The process is supposed to be mindless for me because when my mind gets involved, things become more difficult.

What I do know (and appreciate!) is that he believes in real food. No dirty bulking here. Clean, real foods just in greater amounts. Of course, if I get to a point where the thought of more food is making me ill (which he said will happen because my metabolism is quite efficient it seems and ‘cleaner foods’ require a lot of volume for a tiny belly to eat), other foods will have to be introduced because I just have to get the calories in.

Aside: He did explain to me how these ‘other foods,’ like going out for burgers and such, are not dirty foods. He’s not sending me to Mc’D’s so they are still quality, whole foods, just those that are more calorically dense. This idea that ‘going out to eat’ and still eating clean, real foods is going to be a major mental hurdle for me as right now I have my one ‘cheat meal’ every week and I still struggle with that.

So yeah, more food is a given.

As far as training, he is dropping me to 4 days a week.

This is a real kicker for me because my training is my passion and even to take my one rest day a week is hard enough for me. It’s my love to be in the gym every morning not because I feel I have to be, but because I truly love to be there.

Of course, I have to be aware of the fact that at least I’m still getting to train and still train hard in those times as a dietician would laugh at the thought. I should be thankful but during the initial stages where I know full on that I will be quite overwhelmed with change, I might be stuck in Negative Nancy Mode focusing on what I’m loosing rather then thinking positive.

Just being real with you all.

I wanted to share this with you all because you are a form of support for me and I want to be real and honest with you. Many of you have opened up with your own stories with me, which I am truly touched by because in some way you feel as though you can talk to me about such an intimate part of your life. Furthermore, I want my experiences to be able to help others as well so I really hope I have the ability to share my everyday thoughts and feelings with you to really bring you with me.

This is going to be a very hard process for me. I’m going to cry. I’m going to get moody. I’m going to have those days where I want to just give in and go back to what I was doing because I’m tired of fighting back.

But really, by giving in to my head, where am I getting myself? Right back in the hole I’m in now.

Lost strength in the gym

Tired

Cold

Not liking the way I look because I’m too small

Being self conscious of people looking at me because I assume they think I look gross and sick.

No.

I need to be strong and put my big girl panties on and push through. I have to be especially strong because I have to do it kind of on my own now while I’m here living away from home. Of course I have my parents a phone call way, Mike is obviously there and the love and support of those around me (thanks you guys!) but this is a journey that is very heavily dependent on my own will and determination because I am the one who has to physically do it at the time.

#YAYTeamChelsea

#BeYourOwnCheerLeader.

Mike is a bodybuilder. He’s not out to make me fat. He is here to get me healthy. He is here to steer me into knowing how much food my body needs to perform in the gym like the athlete I want to be. He will also help me attain that physique that I have been pushing so hard for (yes, you cannot say something is completely void of aesthetic goals).

I say that, now I just need to stop thinking otherwise.

When it's a restudy we actually try to put something cute together....#StillInLeggingsLetsBeReal

When it’s a restudy we actually try to put something cute together….#StillInLeggingsLetsBeReal

This is my starting point. There is no way but up from here. It’s going to be very mentally tough for me but only good things can come from regaining control over my body and my health.

Mike, here are the reins, I will try my hardest to give all of my control up to you.

Normally one might say be gentle, but hell, an ED needs a drill sergeant to break down that concrete wall of fears and control issues to get anything done.

Before I leave you all, I wanted to make one more comment as it was something my Mom brought up earlier…

“I hope you don’t feel as if you failed.”

This was a tough thing to hear because it was simply saying out loud what I was thinking at that moment. Do I think I failed? In a sense I think I did because I told myself I would never let this take me again.

But then I thought about it more and it hasn’t ‘taken me’ this time per say but, instead, I have slipped back due to unintentional losses and then I was just too stubborn and/or scared to ask for help. It’s a set back (yes a HUGE set back) in my recovery, but something I’m still fully aware is happening.

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Let me show you the difference.

When my ED started when I was 16 and I entered the hospital I was gone. Like legit gone. I don’t really remember the first few months except for the fact that I just thought I was fat and that I was doing this for my parents because I didn’t see or think anything was wrong with me. My mind had been taken over and Chelsea had been kicked out of the building.

Fast forward to today where I stand taking before shots of myself in a bikini for Mike to use as a representation of my beginning point and I see a frail, scrawny girl and it makes me cringe. My fears have led me to this point but my mind is still fully aware of what is going on. I see myself for what I am now whereas before I didn’t.

I reached out for help this time

I want to look healthier this time because I don’t want to look sick anymore.

This is different and I know that if I put my stubborn, driven mind to this goal, I can reach it no matter how many times I want to cry and fight back through this process.

This is my choice and I’m going to do it. I promise that to myself.

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Thank you for being my safe space to share and being there to keep me accountable. I can only hope that this can help others as well.

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Kind of a heavy topic for Thinking Out Loud, but hey, we are supposed to set our thoughts free right? Thanks you Amanda for hosting.

Thinking-Out-Loud

-Chelsea


81 Comments

Set It Free

Hey Friends!

This post was inspired by a video posted by FreshFitNHealthy on Facebook recently. She spoke about what she learned throughout her school years and I thought it was an interesting idea for a blog post and, well, it transformed a bit into how I have changed over the years in addition to some important lessons. I think that I grew quite a lot, as many do, in my first undergraduate at McMaster. I decided to get all personal with you all and hopefully some of the things I learned and found out about myself can relate to your life too.

School is not life.

This one was a big thing for me. My first year in McMaster, there are so many regrets I have for not spending as much time as I could have with my roommates and friends because I was in my room doing work and studying. I thought this was what I needed to do to get the grades I pressured myself to get. Your high school councillor puts this idea in your head that you will drop 15% and I was panicked so I became, what I like to call, a hermit most of the time.

I can’t say that those things that I missed out on were all due to this, as my poor confidence and shyness probably came into that issue as well to a degree, but it definitely played a big role.

Being a student is only one part of your life. You are YOU first and when you look back at your years in school, do you want to only remember being at your desk 24/7?

One bad grade is not the end of your life.

This is a tough pill to swallow. I still struggle with this one. I have set standards for myself and I can honestly say that they never stop getting higher. I’m a perfectionist. I want the best. It used to be that when I saw a 70 and I was disappointed. Now I see an 80 to an 85 and get that same feeling of…

“What did I do wrong?”

Soon, if I’m not careful, I will get that feeling when 90’s are not attained 100% of the time. This is not realistic. This is added stress that I don’t need. I’m working on it.

I have been there were I have broken down over a grade. It was my first chemistry midterm of my University career and I got a 45 or something like that. Yeah, chem and me are not close…I have never failed anything in my school life and you know what?

I broke down and I broke down hard. I called my Mom and just balled my eyes out saying how I was going to fail chemistry then I would never be able to get into graduate school and so forth. You know what I ended up with at the end of the year?

…a 7 (which at McMaster is between a 75-79%).

I was still unhappy with it because it’s not an honours grade, but I didn’t fail. I didn’t fail the course. I didn’t fail at life. This is a lesson that is rationally understood but still hard to actually believe sometimes. The fact of the matter is that one bad grade will not ruin your life.

Relax.

Another work in progress. I’m a naturally anxious person when things go differently then I expect. I also get really antsy around test situations and big events. I’m proud to say that over the years of school I have learned to accept that when writin a test, I will be as ready as I will ever be walking into that room so being nervous about it won’t help me. With that, instead of anxiously studying up until I literally get my book taken from me in the exam room, I now stop at least an hour before I write a test to wind down so I can walk into the exam in a calm state.

If you’re overly stressed, your brain won’t work. Been there done that.

BTW does anyone else really hate it when everyone is going over things with their friends outside the examination room? I purposely blast my music half of the time because I don’t want to hear them as I just feel like it will mess with me.

Having a social life is necessary.

During my year off school when I was working my two jobs, my friends started to take a back seat to work and me just being busy. At the time, my boyfriend and I had been living in our own apartment for a year by then and it was that year that I begin to get that ugly feeling of being incredibly lonely. Yes, I had him but I found out very quickly that I cannot go day-to-day doing the same thing over and over again. With work I was super social. Customer service was a huge part of my job. Then, when I came home, my boyfriend was often there but I still felt an incredible sense of emptiness. I then began to get mad at myself for not trying harder to find time to see my friends more because I was really pushing myself into a dark hole. It wasn’t really until last summer where I pushed myself to go out more that I really began to get my groove back. My happiness. Now that I’m back in school, I’m determined never to let that happen again.

It’s okay to think about yourself first.

I love seeing others happy. When I was younger, I cared more about putting others first then I did about myself and my needs. You may think this is a good thing, when in fact, if you forget about yourself, you will simply lose yourself. You will get walked all over and be forever unable to search for your own passions, make goals and reach them because you are too busy trying to give to everyone else.

It’s not selfish to want the best for yourself. To put yourself in your own lil bubble from time to time while you work towards your goals. Everyone does it. Everyone needs to do it because it’s how you pave your own way and be truly happy in your life.

Change happens.

Your lifelong plans can change. Some things cannot be planned out, written in stone and stuck to 100%. Try telling this to any Type A personality and see what happens. When I finally made the decision to stop my application process to clinical psych and take the year off, I was stressed to the max. Do you know how many times I asked my parents if I was doing the right thing? The guilt of my not sticking to my ‘plan’ was actually was eating me up no joke.

It’s hard to deal with uncertainty, but its something we all have to face because life happens. You change. Your wants, thoughts and beliefs then change and so plans will never be perfectly planned.

I learned that I can be loved.

For the first time I knew what it felt like to be loved (other than my family). I had some of the most amazing moments in this relationship and I met someone I could call my person.

With that I also learned that no matter how much love you have for someone…

Sometimes you have to let them go.

Love is definitely blind. My 5 year relationship was definitely a growth period for me. We had amazing times but as we moved into our final year, my perception of our future began to change. The truth is, opposites don’t last over the long-term. My love for him truly blurred any rational understanding for that statement. I knew we were very different and although there were some big things that may have set lil alarm bells off in my mind at the time, I just simply overlooked them.

It was one of the most drawn out and hardest things I had to accept. My best friend, the person who gave me so much, could not be “my person” for life.

The love is still there. The friendship is still there. For that I’m thankful, but I think we have both come to terms that a relationship is not the place for us. We are better as friends.

Well that was one reflective post. Got me feelin all kinds of fuzzies. Warm thoughts? Not sure, but a good release.

Thank you for listening to me and I hope you enjoyed reading it. Let me know if you can relate to anything I mentioned here.

Also..

What would be one thing you learned about yourself during your post high school years?

-Chelsea


50 Comments

You Made Me Realize…

…That I did have a full year.

What great goals! And what a packed year you’ve had! -Rachel

You have had such a big year Chelsea with moving away and all your paid work and this lil blog. I hope you are proud of yourself!– Tammy

You really have accomplished a lot and I look up to you. You had a very productive yr, it’s amazing! – Traci

Congrats on all you’ve accomplished this year!! I’m continually amazed at how much you manage to fit into your life -Tina

Thank you so much for all of your love and constant support. You all mean the world to me honestly!

Things have changed. I have changed. I have grown.

It was a great year and I really send many thanks to all of you for reminding me that I too need to take the time to reflect on the year that has left us and realize how much I did.

Personal Life

  • I moved to a new city. I moved away from my jobs. My home. My friends. To do what? Start again with that whole school life. Was it scary? HELL YES. I don’t like change. It scares be to death. BUT I had to come to the same terms that I did when I moved from high school to university, that I was doing this to strive for my passion. I miss my Hamilton life still but I’m making great memories here in Guelph too and moving towards what I want in life.

  • My boyfriend and I went our separate ways after 5 years. I never disclosed this when it happened because that is a very personal aspect of my life, but I felt like it would come out eventually. I consider him to be one of my best friends and have come to accept that I grew a lot mentally from when I was 18 and that has caused me to realize that we mesh better as friends. He is an amazing person and I hope to always have him in my life. There will always be a special kind of love there.
  • I remembered what it was like to have friends. Sometimes when you are in a relationship and busy with other aspects of life, you forget you have friends. One thing I have really embraced since school started was that I have a lot of truly special people in my life and I have enjoyed catching up with them more then ever.

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  • I balanced more of a social life with school. This was something I always struggled with because I would isolate myself with my school work because I felt that I should always be studying or doing something related to school. I have learned that balancing socializing in with school is key to reducing my stress and it should be maintained as a priority.

Blogging Life

  • I started vlogging! I have really enjoyed this newer component to the blog as I find it to add another level of realness to it. I hope you guys are enjoying them despite them being done simply on my Mac with no fancy-shmancy equipment.

  • I have seen my lil group grow! I love the fact that I can recognize all of you when you make your comments. It’s like creating another supportive family! Much better than having a bazillion subscribers but no talking that’s for sure!

School Life

  • New school. New degree. New focus. I’m so excited to really get more into the real nitty gritty nutrition aspect as that is my love.
  • I survived my first semester and managed to pull out an 86 GPA. That surprisingly included the completion of biochemistry. A high GPA is something I always strive for and while I am used to a bit higher, I accepted the fact that this was a transition period and I need to not be such a perfectionist 24/7. I did my best while not making myself a hermit. School is not life.

I bet you are all just ROTFL’in at all that chemistry humor eh? ….

Gym Life

  • New gym. This was quite an adjustment because I had to leave my gym family. I still miss them and my pink towel will always remain there in spirit, but I’m starting to make a name for myself here too. I suppose it doesn’t take long for people to start to notice the tiny lil girl who lifts all zee weights. 😉
  • I added more new things to my workouts and things have continue to intensify. I am more aware now of what I want to work on and am actively working towards bringing up those weaker areas, like my hamstrings. Thank you to all of the amazing YouTube accounts for showing me new fun things to try.
  • My muscle definition is getting more noticeable! People have been telling me that I am starting to grow and from a girl who has the toughest time keeping weight on, that is the best thing I can hear.

I have so many things I want to do this year. I have the drive for them so I hope I can make them happen. Again, much love for always bringing me back to realizing the important things in my life, where I have come and pushing me forward.

Love you all.

-Chelsea