Lil Miss Fitness Freak

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


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Exercise As Part Of Treating Eating Disorders? Fitness Friday 35

Well ain’t that a controversial topic for discussion….

In the spirit of this week being #Eating DisorderAwarenessWeek, I thought I would bring that into our lil regular Friday Fitness chat.

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I knew it would be a big deal. I know that many will not agree with my words, but hear me out, have you ever thought that treatment and exercise could co-exist when looking at eating disorders?

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I know what you’re all thinking.

Exercise is a method to fuel eating disorders

Exercise is a means of dropping weight and burning too many calories

How the hell is exercise going to help put weight on when clearly it just increases their energy requirements?

This is why this topic is a great one to discuss.

The points above are completely valid. In fact, those are the beliefs that many professionals give or yell if the thought of exercise is brought up.

Take me for example, during my short time at the Oakville outpatient program for family therapy, it happened to slip out that I was going to be starting to slowly get into training (this was a few months post-inpatient) and my therapist freaked the eff out. Like I’m not kidding, she actually called my house and my parent’s cells and left frantic messages saying  “Chelsea is not to workout!!!!”

Not that her words stopped it from happening, and honestly, we left that place faster than we came in (not because of that incident, but a bunch of other things..), but I’m just trying to give you an idea of how most clinicians feel about this topic

I.e. They are mostly against the thought of exercising.

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…or ever…

Like I said, these arguments are all valid concerns and I see where they are coming from…

~I was a compulsive exerciser

~Most use it as a way to burn more calories and loose weight

~Most don’t know limits or when to stop

~Many can let it consume them and take over their lives

So I will say again, I understand their fears, but look at it from another perspective. When you just say NO and/or NEVER AGAIN, where does that get you? It teaches the individual nothing about control or other benefits aside from the superficial ones. It tells them that they have lost a free right to do something many people do. It places restrictions on them, which can lead to them deciding to go and do it anyways. Lastly, it prevents them gaining some of the many benefits you get from exercise that can be critical to the health of a person struggling with an eating disorder (*provided they are stable enough to perform exercises) such as bone and cardiorespiratory strength, helping with psychological disturbances, distraction from nagging negative and obsessive thoughts and potential social opportunities.

There are many people I have seen who have gone from treatment to the gym and are strong, independent people who are in control and did not slip back into old habits. They successfully took their health into their hands and chose to use exercise as a way to ‘come back’ and heal. A way to gain strength when their body was so weak before. A way to build confidence in themselves and eventually find that the gym is more than a place to burn calories. It’s gives them a place to deal with their emotions and re-build themselves physically and psychologically.

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So with all of that being said, I wanted to present you with some research on the topic and how these types of interventions have faired in the treatment of eating disorders. I mean, you have heard my story and I could give you anecdotal evidence of the possible benefits for some, but does it actually show more pros than cons in treatment settings?

Lets find out.

To be honest, I was shocked at the number of articles I actually found. I still believe most are completely dead set on NO EXERCISE but there was a surprising number of studies and pilot programs in treatment facilities exploring the use of exercise as intervention. 

I will stick to the main findings of each study and link each so that you can read more if you desire. I am also going to label them in order of earliest to latest. Lastly, I could have found more, but for the sake of your attention span, I left it to these interesting ones.

Thein et al (1999) –> “Pilot Study of a Graded Exercise Program for the Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa”

Main Findings: With the addition of exercise (amount based on % of ideal body weight IBW), the experimental group (diagnosed with AN) showed no difference in change in BMI or body fat, suggesting that the exercise did not inhibit the primary goal of weight gain. The EXPT group also saw a general increase in quality of life measures while the control saw a trend downward from their initial testing.

Szabo and Green (2002) –> Hospitalized anorexics and resistance training: Impact on body composition and psychological well-being. A preliminary study

Main Findings: Study included a non-AN group (exercise group and non-exercise group) with a group of girls currently in an inpatient facility for AN (exercise and non exercise groups). They were both on an 8-week training program of resistance-based exercises. There were trends found for the psychological variables, however it was speculated that perhaps 8 weeks was not enough. Interestingly enough, there was no decrease in weight of the ED-exercise group but a significant drop in those not in the exercise group.

Lutter and Smith-Osborne (2011) –>Exercise in the Treatment of Eating Disorders: An Alternative View

Main Findings: Exercise was significantly associated with greater improvements in eating disorder and depressive symptoms where the number of METS was associated positively with improvements in the measures of depression (BDI) and eating disorder behaviours (EDI). This study was interesting because the exercise was equine based.

Hall et al (2016) –> Use of yoga in outpatient eating disorder treatment: a pilot study

Main Findings: Adolescent girls (all met the requirements for AN/BN/EDNOS but were clinically stable) in an outpatient eating disorder treatment facility attended 12 yoga classes at one class per week. After the intervention, there was no decrease in BMI and significant improvements in anxiety, depression and body image disturbance scores. 

I did a yoga class or two when I was an inpatient at Sick Kids. This was for the advanced stages only but was a nice change of pace. Definitely saw first hand the mood enhancing features. 

This article by Hausenblas et al (2008) also provides a good overview of 6 further studies showing the benefits of exercise based interventions in eating disorder populations on social, psychological and biological factors if you’re interested in even more reading 😉

Finally, here is an article, Bratland et al (2009), that discusses how exercise based programs are managed in treatment facilities and how many places actually have them! It was limited to a few countries in Europe, but can provide some insight for how they could be implemented and managed here.

So…

To conclude, many articles find that there are benefits to exercise in both outpatient and inpatient treatments for eating disorders. Also, rarely did any study (I didn’t find any) report negatives (such as weight loss or stalling the weight gain process) of incorporating exercise into the programs.

I want to say that, yes I know it may take more work and there will have to be strict guidelines in place, like ensuring they are stable enough to participate, etc, but from what I see from research and from my own experience I definitely think that it would be something to really look into further and do more pilot studies on.

Weight gain is already hard enough, try to make it easier on us all. Plus, by being exposed to it in a controlled setting it can also help to make the transition back to ‘reality’ potentially more smooth.

Something I would like to know is if incorporation of exercise during treatment can lower the risk of over exercising or going back to negative exercise habits when they are discharged. 

What are you thoughts?

-Chelsea


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It’s Not All About Looks…Fitness Friday 33

So the gym is often know as the place to..

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But what about all of the other things lifting weights gives you?

Todays post is going to be about how lifting and training hard helps you OUTSIDE the gym.

I’m sure I will miss some as there are so many benefits, so feel free to comment on things you have found it brings to your life that I may have missed. 

Confidence

Being strong is so empowering and that is not just for women. Lifting is not just about the muscle growth from an appearance perspective, but is also about what you can do with that muscle and how that makes you feel. I will say that for women, feeling themselves get stronger is a rather powerful thing (as we are often said to be the weaker sex and are needy…) and can do wonders for their sense of self worth and respect.

Independence

Strength means you don’t have to ask for help. Strength means you can lift that thing by yourself. Strength can also mean that the person who is rehabbing an injury can do just a lil bit more on their own or that any older person can preserve their muscle mass longer so that they can keep their freedom.

Stronger, More Durable Bones

Resistance training is huge for helping maintain the strength of your bones. Especially important for menopausal women who loose bone more rapidly, but good for all of us young’ins too as a way to keep them as strong as possible for as long as possible.

Better Insulin Sensitivity and Glucose Utilization.

Being at a healthy weight is one thing, but did you know that contractile movements actually help to bring more glucose into cells by increasing translocation (movement from inside the cell to the membrane) of the glucose transporters to the cell membrane? More glucose inside the cells means less in the blood which can lead to problems. Check out this study..

Better Skin

Sweating opens them pores and lets the skin get rid of dirt and any chemicals or toxins that can be flushed via the skin. Many people say they break out more when they work out but it’s not because you’re sweating. Instead, its generally because either 1. you had stuff on your face that than clogged the pores when they opened up or 2. you rubbed or touched your face too much, adding new dirt to your skin. Let it sweat it out and then wash your face.

Detox

Your skin is the largest organ of the body. That being said, it is also one very important way your body get rids of things from the body it doesn’t like. So, similar to the skin point, let your body sweat. If you’re getting sick, it can help bring those bacteria to the surface, or at least into the bloodstream, and help your body deal with them more quickly. It may make you feel a bit worse at first, but by forcing them out in the open, your body’s defense system can battle them out more quickly and hopefully help you recover more efficiently.

Temporary Relief From Cold/Sickness Symptoms

I want to preface by saying you be the judge of when you are too sick to train... Anyways, this may be seen by some as a bad thing, but hey, if I can stop sniffling or stop cramping (for us ladies) for a lil bit, I call that a success. When your body exercises, it actually perceives that action as a stress so it begins to send the blood flow to the working muscles and away from things that are not as important. As a result, your immune, digestive and reproductive systems (and others..) are not really getting much attention and often that leads to less symptoms of the disease state (or time of the month..) of those areas. Got a cold? Ever notice your nose runs less? For the ladies, cramping can actually decrease while exercises.

See here for a scientific journal on the matter

Decreases Risk of Many Chronic Diseases

Diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, osteoporosis, and the list goes on (source).

Stress Relief

With all of those endorphins going (among other hormones), using your sweat sesh to unwind from studying or a hard day at work is much more productive and good for you than ploppin down in front of the TV and eating a bunch of crap food. What’s that old saying…

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Along with stress relieving…

You’re Happier

So many processes and hormones involved in this part, but with exercise not only are you physically better, but your psychological state gets a positive boost as well. We all know that we feel a sense of happiness following a workout. Whether that is euphoria, endorphin high, or a sense of accomplishment, there is no doubts that it’s there. It should than come as not surprise that exercise has been found to be useful in treatment of to help chronic mental illness such as depression (link), dementia (link), anxiety and others.

So overall there are so many things I could continue to say about exercising but I will keep it a bit shorter for you all for the sake of your reading threshold. As you can see, exercise is much more than just about looks. It helps the brain, it helps in your perception of yourself, it protects you from disease and it helps you feel that you can function on your own.

So for anyone needing a reason to start, go ahead and pick one. You have quite a list to choose from.

What are some of your non-physical experiences with exercise?

-Chelsea


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More Food = More Gains

Friends! Today has been a really great day thus far and to share that happiness with you I thought I would jump into the link up party

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Lovely Link-up created by the wonderful Meghan 

…cuz I have been feeling and receiving all kinds of happy lately. Also the ‘list all your achievements’ theme is quite fitting this week.

1. I’m sorry I’m happy while everyone down south is angry AF still post election. But we won’t get into that because politics is just something you don’t touch.

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…Moving on….

2. My lifts…omg I amaze myself. The small increases I do with my coach every two weeks are lighting me up like a firecracker I kid you not. I started to wonder why I’m progressing so much faster strength wise now than I was with my previous coach. At that time I was getting much, MUCH larger increases compared to now and, yes, I was progressing, but not at this rate.

I thought about it hard and figured it’s probably having to do with the fact that my system is healing itself now. Back earlier in the year, it was overwhelmed being overfed and dealing with all the health problems (cough parasites..) and so I think that with those dealt with (I hope!) my body is now less stressed and less inflamed so perhaps now during this healing process it’s just going to get better and better.

So those PR’s…Excuse me while I grin like a crazy person…I’m just so happy about them!

~I squatted 4×3, 1×5 135lb back squats this past Friday. Thats up 1 whole set and 1 rep from last week. NOTE that this may small but its actually about 1.6x my bodyweight. My goal is 4×8 by Xmas. Getter!

~100lb DL this morning. DL have always been my weakest lift, so I was pretty damn proud of this lift, especially since I have felt stalled for a few weeks

~30lb DB shoulder presses this Saturday

~135lb Rack pull for 5

~135lb barbell hip thrusters.

~100lb barbell lunges for sets of 8

So yeah, excuse my pride face..

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3. Started off my morning right today with news that I had gotten a 90% on my clinical midterm. Once again I was terrified to check because everyone else was spouting about how bad they felt they did. I need to learn to trust my gut.

4. On the topic of marks, 88% for Metabolism and another 90% in Nutrition Assessment ain’t too shabby either.

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5. I managed to finish a Clinical assignment in 1.5 hours on Saturday. Holler at that productivity.

6. I have been writing training plans for my housemate and she told me how thankful she was for them because she has never felt so good about herself.

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Follow me at @lilmisscross!

Gym = more confidence in everything! Its not just about aesthetics.

7. This will be my 4th blog post this week!

8. I welcomed myself back into vlogging! I’m so happy to be back.

9. I have done the monkey work for my Master/Internship applications. Goals for the next two weeks is to crack down on those letters of intent/cover letters

10. Wrote a leg routine for two people at the gym and they absolutely loved it. I than so graciously received a Tims gift card, which was totally not needed or asked for but she insisted. So nice.

11. I made a peanutty version of these cookies and everyone loved them!

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12. I reconnected with a friend who moved away this year (Oh hey Cass if you’re reading this). It was so nice to hear from her and catch up!

13. One of my clients told me that he was so happy that he found me because I have helped him so much. Daaawww

14. Finally took my ass to Canadian Tire to get a spare key for my Dad. Than I got an even cooler key so my Dad gets the boring original…

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I swear I am an adult. Can I call it Mighty Mouse?

PS please ignore the U.G.L.Y callouses on my hands…gym problems.  

14. Three people have told me that I’m looking strong! I’m growing friends!

15. I left the gym on Friday feeling a sense of complete and utter bliss. I had trained my ass off that morning, hit my squat PR, trained both a client and my housemate and spent 1.5 hours trying to eat my post workout because everyone was chatting with me. I just feel like I’m supposed to be there. I’m supposed to help others and give information. It was a great feeling. Passion, I like you.

16. I forced my housemates to enter the Christmas season nice and early with me by putting these on their doors ;-).. Spread a lil love…

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Penguin for me (cuz I love them!), elephant for Em (cuz likewise) and a beautiful Xmas sweater for Rita because they didn’t have a turtle…(her nickname lol)

And with the spirit of Xmas now in our hearts, I will end it here. Overall a great week filled with a lot of great things. Heres to further growth and positivity my friends!

Thanks again to Meghan for giving me a platform to share my successes and happy moments of the week.

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What is one success or happy moment you experienced this week?

-Chelsea


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I Owe You An Update…

The title says it all. I had gone MIA on you all once again. Man this semester is really killing my bloggin game. Don’t they care that I have readers to amuse, huh?

Guess not.

My apologies but you know…#StudentLife.

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So on this lovely Friday let me fill you in a lil bit.

1. Gainz

***Trigger Warning. I will be expressing thoughts that may make some feel uncomfortable. Please note that I am aware these are not healthy or rational thoughts but I’m just wanting to express to you how I felt at the time***

So yes, I have officially put on a pound or two with my coach. That may not seem like a lot based on how long I have been working away at it with him but you have to understand that when your metabolism is high and your workouts are tough, just getting the scale to tip over the edge is really really hard. You need a lot more food then you think just to make it budge.

I have made it past a number of fears.

like….

~Eating rice cakes before bed.

~Eating more peanut butter then I ever imagined. I love peanut butter but I always had this rule that I was only allowed 2 tbsp a day (ie. a serving on the label). Still working with that fear….my last addition via my coach was “Let’s just add 3-4 tbsp of nut butter this week. You love the stuff right?” Uggghhh I love it but that much scares the crap out of me.

I’m still dealing with challenges associated with the weekly increases that has has me doing.

~Having my weekly ‘cheatmeal’ errrr.. treat meal despite always being bumped calories. My head tells me to feel bad for having my ice cream for example because I’m already in a surplus so you don’t need it. Bad Chelsea.

I still have issues with not feeling in control.

And yes, I did in fact have a pretty nasty melt down when I saw that scale shift.

Rationally I know that is the plan. Rationally I know I need it and I DO WANT IT. I really do want to look healthier! I want to fill out my lil fitness freak booty. I want my cheeks to fill out more. I want to look like I lift and gain back the strength I lost for gawds sake, which you cannot do when you are too lean. But the increase in the number shook me and sent my mind into a state of mixed thoughts along with some tears and unfortunate body checking and poking…

Where is it??? Look that part’s softer…Is that a lump?! OMG I’m gunna get fat!

I have always told you that I don’t like the scale and it’s useless. Truth is…that still stands true. The scale means nothing. It is not a measure of anything really because you can gain weight but looker leaner (hello muscle mass!) and then it just messes with your mind.

That in mind, I felt as if I needed to check once and a while to ensure I wasn’t loosing any more weight and also to know when I started to gain so I could say I was going up. It didn’t really phase me. Yes, the number I saw was much too low and I knew it, but I was not mentally prepared for how I would feel if it actually moved up.

That day came and I broke. I cried. I failed didn’t hit my increase that week because I automatically assumed that because I gained I was just going to stock pile fat on myself because apparently thats what happens when I’m talking about my own body.

WRONG.

I still struggle with thinking that somehow my body is different then others. Others will be fine, but I will become hideous or something. I dunno. Again, irrational. I need to take my own advice and know that I’m getting healthy because I’m NOT healthy right now.

Instead I need to focus on the positives. I’m getting stronger again in the gym and I’m loving it.

I PR’ed today finally hitting my 1.5 times my body weight back squat again. I lit up like a firecracker. 

That week was rough but I have accepted it and my dietician spoke to me about the body dysmorphia aspect. Not that I should be trying to rationalize the gain in any way but it will probably be a long time before weight will begin to really show on me because my low body fat percentage means that my organs and vital tissues need a lil bit of assistance first before some of those superficial things.

…When you get an error message stepping on a bioimpediance scale (measures your body fat %) you know that you’re too low…

I know that scale is not the most accurate but still…an error message!?! and that was three meals in…

Anyways, onto bigger and better things and on to more muscle! I’m gaining my friends and that just means I’m getting healthier and working towards my fitness goals.

2. I got a job!

A research job…that isn’t volunteering…in my field!! I found that at my school they offer URA research projects for students in various departments over the summer months. They pay just like any full time job, actually more in my case because rather then minimum wage I’m getting $11.50/hour, and you are doing research for a prof or Ph.D student on campus. How much of an awesome opportunity it that!

Anyways, although that means that I will have to stay in Guelph and not live at home all through the summer, I am excited that I get this chance to do some research as it will help me work towards my career goals.

3. Hell week is upon us…

Yes, my restaurant (the one I keep complaining about) is this Tuesday. Its starts at the crack of dawn (7:45am) Monday morning on campus with receiving our ingredients (and hopefully not being yelled at all morning…that has happened to multiple groups) and continues all day with prepping the food for the actual service Tuesday morning/afternoon. Tuesday we are back in at the crack of dawn for set up, more prep and getting our **it together before service begins at 11:30am. After 2:30 when class is done, we get our review and grade then while many would crack a bottle of wine, I’m going to hit the gym and then go home and do absolutely nothing for the rest of the night because I will deserve it after little to no sleep and yelling for 48 hours.

Crossing our fingers it goes well.

Anyways my lovely friends, I’m sorry again that I really have been absent this semester.

It’s not you its me.

I hope to chatter with you more and bring back more information posts as things die down a bit.

I’m off to take my ice cream filled belly to beddies

Nite Nite all!

-Chelsea


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You Are You, You Are Not A Label.

My friends,

This will be short. It will be something to think about and I would love for you to share your thoughts. I was thinking about something the other day and I wanted to bring it up in this space.

I was almost afraid to say it out loud because I felt like I would get some hate, but hear me out…

It’s only my opinion and I’m in no way bashing, I’m simply stating my thoughts about one component of the movement.

Now that I have completely led you on to think that this is going to be about some huge controversial topic, I bring you…

 

 

A beautiful company. A beautiful cause. Hopefully it is something that will bring big change to the face of mental illness awareness in the sense that more people will understand and accept that mental illness is not a person, but rather, a challenge.

So why am I bringing this up other then to guide you to their site to check it out?

I have one issue with their message.

Their catch phrase…

Wear your label.

Once again, I know this is not supposed to be a negative thing at all and the whole idea of this cause is to spread awareness and knowledge of mental illness and move towards greater overall acceptance but I really don’t like this saying.

Why?

We are supposed to be pushing away from thinking of a person as their mental illness. I’m not an anorexic. Instead, I’m someone who suffered WITH anorexia. My experience with an eating disorder does not define me, so why would I label myself as such?

I don’t want people to see me as a walking eating disorder.

Disclaimer! Please note that I’m not trying to say that they wanted that to be their message at all. In fact, I know they are spreading the opposite on how we should be attached to a label, but their choice of slogan unfortunately appears misleading. 

It’s not that I’m embarrassed and don’t want people to know. Thats far from it. Instead, I just don’t want to be defined by it. It was and still is a challenge I face every day.

I am a better and stronger person because of it but that is because I worked against it for myself. I am who I am today because of how I responded to the illness.

So instead of labelling myself as an ‘anorexic’, lets instead label myself as something empowering….

I am strong.

I am driven.

I am confident.

Those are things I wouldn’t mind labelling myself as if I had to have a label.

Otherwise, you are just you. There is no label that is needed for people to see you for you.

As for this cause, I support it 100% because too many people still don’t understand mental illness and then instead of sympathizing or offering support, they judge or display fear. This needs to be changed and with increased knowledge and some patience, it can (and has been!) change for the better.

I’m not sure at the moment what I could suggest as another marketing technique that is catchy, but maybe you guys would have some thoughts. As I mentioned, I also know they don’t want it to come off as you’re wearing your label of a mental illness because they clearly state that they don’t want those affected to feel defined by their illness. It’s just the physical sentence that comes off that way.

What do you all think? Am I completely wrong in saying what I did?

If you had to ‘label’ yourself with one word, what would it be?

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 -Chelsea

Nothing connects us quite like shared experience, which is why creating conversations to inform, educate, and unite individuals is a main goal at Wear Your Label. Ending the stigma is our motivation; fashion is just a means of execution.

-Wear Your Label

 


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Baby Steps, Baby Steps

*** Trigger Warning. I have expressed some ED related thoughts in this post and that is something that will negatively affect you please skip this post and know that I appreciate your love and support of me and this blog space. ❤ ***

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Almost missed this week due to exam drama-rama but I had to jump in because I had some positive steps forward this week and I really wanted to share because this space is not only for resources, but also for sharing our victories!

Thanks to Miss Lord Still Loves Me herself, Julia, for the positive space for opening up.

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As the quotation says above, you should never feel bad for accepting that you did some good for yourself.

It’s hard sometimes when you have suffered with an ED in the past to be proud of the lil things that you have done to beat down that ‘voice’ because you tell yourself they are stupid.

I added a tsp EXTRA of peanut butter to my oatmeal because I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat for 6 hours and didn’t want my tummy eating itself during my exam..because that’s kinda distracting.

ED steps in: Chelsea you’re being silly, a tsp, A TSP oh such a step forward. Such a win against me eh? Nope you’re actually just weak for not sticking to your routine and being afraid of hunger.

I also added a lil bit of banana to those rest day oats because 1. I was on 4 hours of sleep and I wanted a bit more carbs to wake me up. 2. My lunch was a lil less in carbs. 3. I was two cheap to buy a whole pint of strawberries ($6 over here!) for my regular 2 strawberries…

ED Steps in: Banana!?? Are you for real. That is just for workouts, shame on you!

I picked up a custom salad (dry) from Freshii the day earlier because I wanted to help myself out the morning of my exam and just have lunch to bring. I brought a new-to-me find, Renee’s Tuscan Italian dressing and I finally picked it up and was determined to try it. Despite it being 100% all natural and having no preservatives in it (which is why I never use bottled dressings), I haven’t used a bottled dressing in years…

ED Steps in: LAZY LAZY GIRL! Bottled dressing?! There’s some canola oil in there miss, stop telling yourself it’s okay. Carrot juice? Oh great, more sugar for the day you aren’t working out. Look at you, 3 in one day, man you are breaking. Happy with yourself?

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I hope that wasn’t too harsh to read, I was just trying to convey some of the back talk you get when you have experienced an ED in your lifetime.

Despite the nasty commentary, I was talking to my Mom last night and her face was quite pleased when I told her about these experiences.

She told me that this is a good thing.

She told me you are in no way weak, you are in no way becoming ‘less disciplined’ like ED wants you to think. Disciplined? What is that? More like restricted in life.

She told me that I need to consider that maybe, just maybe my brain is fighting back and trying to shut ED out more and more.

She told me I was getting stronger.

She told me to be proud and that she was proud.

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Why shouldn’t I be proud?

Why can’t I accept that those are accomplishments and not that I’m becoming too weak to stick to my ED driven routine of only eating what I should be.

I should be proud of letting myself feel more free.

..and more happy.

And you know what?

I also told her that I have been feeling that way lately…

Happy.

Feeling the overwhelming happiness seeing all of the Christmas lights.

Feeling excited to come home.

Feeling more appreciative of life and those lil things around me that used to give me such joy.

Yeah, I haven’t been on my plan for too long yet but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t done anything for me yet.

It’s giving me the energy to fight more. Fight harder and its bringing out the best of myself once again.

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I may not be free yet, but I’m climbing. One step at a time…

One baby step at a time.

ED is out to challenge you. He’s out to make you doubt yourself and make you feel as if you failed if you don’t follow the routine he paved for you. You need to take the time to pause and tell yourself that you SHOULD feel proud when you go against him. He is trying to strip you of your happiness. You are trying to re-instate that you deserve that happiness.

Because you do. You truly 100% do.

No shame. No guilt.

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What is one thing you have done for yourself lately that you discredited because it was silly? I had Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice cream at Baskin Robbins with my Nana and Papa last night. Yes, it was partially because they didn’t have a second caramel flavour, but I have actually kinda been craving it for a few weeks but have been afraid to have it because it’s one of the highest fat ice creams they have. But I ate it and those peanut butter ribbons were delicious… just as I remember.

-Chelsea


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Support Makes You Strong

Trees.

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We see those huge, beautiful trees as something so strong. Something so proud. Something so rooted in its place in this earth.

Trees not only provide us with the breathes of life, but they also provide support for the many ecosystems that surround them.

You know what though?

A tree wouldn’t be able to serve those purposes if it wasn’t for the aid of the system around it.

It wouldn’t be around without the pollinators that spread those very seeds that brought it to life.

It wouldn’t be alive still without the microorganisms that break down organic materials to give it nourishment.

So if something that is the picture of strength and wisdom needs support to be able to keep thriving, why is it that when we ask for help we perceive ourselves as being weak?

Everyone needs support, whatever magnitude that may be. Asking for help NEVER signifies that you are incapable. Never says to others that you are a failure.

Sometimes, asking for help can make you one of the strongest people out there.

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So you may be asking yourself why the hell I’m rambling on about this. It’s pretty random.

Well I am random….

I’m also randomly bringing this up because it’s something that I have had to come to accept throughout my recovery process.

I never used to like asking for help. I’m an internalizer and so I tend to keep my thoughts, worries, conflicts, etc to myself because I feel like they were my own issues to deal with

Why burden someone else with my problems if ….

…they only affect me…

The problem with that statement is two fold.

For one, I have associated negativity with the love, comfort and support that another person can give to me. Basically,  I felt as if providing me with support was some sort of favour they were doing for me or that they felt pity on me so they would do it not because they wanted to, but because they felt compelled to.

I have come to realize that this is not true. People don’t want to see you struggle. I have this urge in my self to speak up and help others if I feel I can in any way. I think sometimes I should refrain as I may be overstepping my boundaries, but the point is that we don’t like to see others hurt or stuck in a state of confusion if they don’t have to be.

The second issue is that second part. “It only affects me.” This is far from the truth because if you are struggling, the chances are that it will negatively impact anything further you try to do because you are occupied. You’re stuck either dwelling on something, hurting or just not knowing what move to make next. This inevitably affects not only you but anything else you try to do and anyone else you try to interact with.

So what does all of of this have to do with recovery?

I think that this is an important lesson for everyone to learn, regardless of their struggles in life…

You must learn and accept that one has be vulnerable in order to grow as a person.

But this vulnerability becomes even more important during recovery as you have to come to the realization that sometimes you’re just too tired to keep fighting and it’s in those moments where ED feels that he can creep back in a take you back.

It is in those instances where you need to ask yourself…

Does strength mean risking my recovery because I should be able to continue to fight when I’m completely mentally exhausted?

Or

Does strength mean admitting to someone else that you are having a rough time and just need a lil bit of support so that you can re-charge and blast forward once again?

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I know what my answer would be, what is yours?

 Linking up once again to Julia’s…

recovery-round-up-lord-still-loves-me-link-up…on this cold ‘gah it’s officially winter’ Monday.

Thank you so much to Julia for hosting such a positive and helpful resource partaay.

Have a great start to your week friends!

When was the last time you asked for support? this weekend when I ranted on discussed my struggles this week with body image with my Mom.

Who is your go-to? My Mom ❤

-Chelsea