Health for Me Looks Different Than Health For You

I used to think health was one size fits all. Now, at the ripe old age of 21 (as of two weeks ago-happy birthday to me!), my philosophy has changed and most likely will continue to change as I grow and learn.

I believe that health and wellness is incredibly individualized. I used to gobble up diet and workout advice from magazines and think what worked for such and such fitness model would work for me. Oh how wrong I was.

My body is not your body, yours is not mine. We are so incredibly unique, from the hair on our heads to the bacteria in our guts. Unless you are an identical twin, your DNA is unique to you. And even if you are a twin, your needs are still your own.

What is Health?

I think the rough framework of “health” is something most humans should model- eat wholesome foods, move your body, get plenty of sleep and drink your H20.

That is a very vague outline, and it is up to us as individuals to fill in the details for what works for us and our bodies. That’s the hard part- figuring out what your body needs, and listening to it!

Listening to Your Body

I am currently still in the process of learning my body’s unique needs and, the real kicker, honoring those needs. After 6 years of denying my body of the food it was begging for, and running it into the ground exercising, I have done some damage to the relationship I have with my body. You should be in sync with your body, not a separate entity from it. Your mind, body and soul work together to be a whole. As children, we are all born this way, but for a lot of us, the bonds get severed as we grow and adopt false beliefs about ourselves or how we should treat our selves.

It is a journey to truly listen to what your body is telling you, without letting those false, learned “rules” sneak in to question your intuition. Trust your body, and it will it will start to trust you again.

One of the biggest tips I have for rekindling that bond is to stop comparing yourself to others. Just because the “fit” girl on Instagram is having a giant acai bowl for breakfast doesn’t mean you have to. If your body is craving a salad for lunch but your friend orders a burger, you should honor your craving as your friend should honor hers.

Stop comparing your body to others. Love it and treat it with respect. This is something I am working on and it is definitely a learning process. It may take time to understand what your body needs and get those instinctive cues back. For now, just do the next right thing. Eat whole some foods, but also go out for froyo. Exercise, but get enough rest days in. Talk kindly to your body, don’t tear it down with “fat talk.”

Healthy looks different on everyone, to compare is to despair. When you begin to honor your body you will thrive. Your health is your greatest wealth. 

Channeling My Inner Fashionista

Where are my fashion-challenged ladies at?

Well I feel ya, I am very much a workout clothes inside and outside the gym kind of girl. I can seriously do some damage on athletic clothing- and shoes! However, the truth is I do really like fashion and enjoy dressing up and looking girly.

Part of my problem is I hate shopping. Like strongly dislike it. I can handle about an hour and a half of shopping and then I feel overwhelmed- too many clothes! I need a “goal” when I go shopping like, “I am looking for a grey v-scoop neck shirt,” or “I need to find a dress for x event.”

My biggest dilemma is I just don’t know what to buy to be able to put together an outfit. I like to buy pieces that I think I could style multiple ways. However, I tend to have trouble putting outfits together in my brain.

That is where today’s post comes into play!

Lately, I have been trying to channel my inner fashionista. Pinterest and fashion bloggers are my go to sources for outfit inspiration. I also started to follow LiketoKnowit on Instagram and have found a lot of cute ideas on there. Slowly but surely, I am shopping for some cuter pieces and attempting to put outfits together. Here are some of my favorite ideas lately.

Brittany at Truth or Flares. I love these pants, they are sold out but I have been on the lookout for  a similar pair. Maybe these?

A cute Spring look! Also, no white after Labor Day/before Memorial Day is not a rule in my opinion-especially in Florida!

The white tee and jeans look, with a twist! Caitlin at Southern Curls & Pearls is another blogger I follow for fashion inspiration. I got this white off the shoulder shirt the other day at Express- love it!

Bodysuit and jean short; simple, sexy, sold.

T-shirt dresses in the Summer are a great option too. Super cute stuff at The Mint Julep Boutique by the way!

Finally, what do you think about this bathing suit? Thinking of ordering in maroon. SRRA is a local company, I am all about supporting the young entrepreneur!

Tell me…

Do you like shopping?
Go to Summer outfit?

 

Linking up with Heather for Friday Favorites.

Struggling With Body Image

I want to preface this post by saying that it is darker in mood. Recovery isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. I want to be honest and true to myself by sharing every stage of the journey- because it’s important to be real.  

They say that body image is the last to go in recovery. I don’t know how accurate that statement is for everyone, but for me it definitely holds a lot of truth.

I have been struggling with body image and body dysmorphia these past few weeks. I write posts about reframing the negative thoughts, but in all honesty, it has been hard to practice what I preach.

It started about a week and a half ago after an eventful weekend where many pictures were taken. I saw pictures of myself and the thoughts just started pouring in:

“Your thighs are fucking huge, you need to start running more to get leaner. Just lose 5 pounds, no one will know…”

These thoughts and similar ones have been streaming through my head for almost two weeks. It sucks, and I have been trying to distract myself for a while and push the thoughts away, but that only makes them louder when they do come back.

It’s embarrassing for me to write this, to admit that I think I look fat or am unsatisfied with my body. My thighs in particular bother me. I have been insecure about them since I was a little girl, and throughout the years in my eating disorder and now in recovery, they have been the area of my body that I fixate on in a very negative way.

I know logically I am not fat. I know how much I weigh and the number on the scale tells me that there is no way in hell that at 5’4 and 20 years old that I could ever be fat. In fact, logically I am on the smaller end.

But I just don’t see it. And is scares me.

It scares me that, apparently, I don’t see myself how others see me- for how I really look. It scares me that I can look in a mirror literally minutes apart and see something completely different each time. I feel crazy, which makes it incredibly difficult to talk to others about my body image woes, because they just say I look  “great/beautiful/hot/perfect.” But I just don’t see it.

I had a very good therapy session the other day. We analyzed the pictures together and while it was difficult, I gained a lot of insight from it. I am putting all of my self worth into this tiny area of my body. Not only that, but I am letting this 1% area of my body to ruin my mood. It’s ridiculous!

Finally, I showed her the Instagram account of a woman I look up to, Taylor Chamberlain. She has overcome an eating disorder herself and is now a dietetics grad and a very successful bikini bodybuilder. Her approach to health and fitness is so healthy and her physique is #goals. We have a similar build and I aspire to build a similar physique someday. Anyway… I showed a picture of her to my therapist and said “I think her legs look incredible and would love to have legs like her.” To which my therapist pointed out that this woman’s legs are bigger than mine are- so how is it that I think this woman is so beautiful and I like her legs- but my own legs are “fat.”

See the issue?

It is not about weight or the size of my thighs. It is about accepting myself and knowing that I am enough.

I hold myself to these expectations (in all areas of my life, not just body image) and put ridiculous amount of pressure on myself to “have it all together.” In doing that, I am missing out on the present, and forgetting to be grateful for where I am in the moment. I need to start loving myself right now, and being okay with where I am and trusting that I will get where I want to be.

Thank you for listening to my rambles, I hope it wasn’t too doom and gloom today.

Tell me…

Do you struggle with body image?
What has helped you cope when you are struggling?
And lastly, tell me something you love about yourself!

 

linking up with Thinking out Loud on Amanda’s blog.

NEDAwareness: I Fight for Her

In honor of NEDA Week 2017

I fight for her

There will be hard days in recovery. Sometimes I contemplate restricting or over exercising. But, there is something inside me that keep me fighting, a fire inside me that refuses to succumb to anorexia.

It’s her. And all those like her.

She is the reason I advocate for eating disorder recovery and awareness.

I fight because I never want to see another innocent little human go through the struggles that I did. I don’t want her to think that her worth is based on her body. Rather, I want her to be strong and fearless, and refuse to succumb to the standards of society.

I fight for my future children. They will look up to me, and see a strong woman. I will teach them love and confidence by emulating it. I want to be their role model; show them that true beauty shines from within.

This is a letter to my inner little girl, and all the sweet, beautiful little ones out there. It’s time to talk about it #NEDAwareness

Dear Sweet Baby Girl,

Do you know how beautiful you are? From the moment you were born, you have been perfect. You are perfect because you are imperfect. Your beauty is in your flaws.

Sweet girl, you need to know that your self-worth does not depend on your body. You are not an object be desired or lusted after. You are a person, with a beautiful heart and soul and intelligent mind. Baby girl, you were put on this world to live, to love and to be happy.

You are not on this Earth to please every person you meet. People will come and go in your life, and you cannot possibly please all of them while staying happy and healthy yourself.  Please baby girl, know that anyone who brings you down is not worth the time.

Be yourself little one. Be authentic and unapologetically you. People love you for your personality- not just for your beautiful face and definitely not for your body. It is your smile and joyful laugh, your caring nature- how you make them feel- that is why they love you.

Most importantly baby girl, you need to learn to love yourself. You are worth the love. Do not hurt your precious body trying to fit an impossible ideal. Your health is your greatest wealth and that you can never be truly happy by placing your self-worth solely on your body. You are so much more than that.

I know you will learn all of this someday. I hope you learn it sooner that later. Life is too short to be unhappy baby girl. Your life is precious and your future is so very bright.