Discovering the Satisfaction Factor + What Is Normal Eating

Howdy y’all! How are you doing today? I’m doing wonderfully. 🙂 I finally saw my nutritionist, and apparently I’ve been eating pretty well! She introduced me to an app called Lose It!, and although my goal isn’t to lose weight, this app helps track my protein, carbs, and fats.

Did you know? The Japanese have the wisdom to promote pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living. In our fury to be THIN and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence – the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience. When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting and conductive, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content.

Step 1: Ask Yourself What You REALLY Want to Eat

  • When we diet or restrict what we eat, we often lose touch with the pleasure of eating.
  • If you have trouble figuring out what you truly like to eat, the next step will give you clarification.

Step 2: Discover the Pleasure of the Palate

  • Taste
    • Sweet, salty, sour, bitter, smoky, spicy, savory
    • Pleasant, neutral, unpleasant, offensive
  • Texture
    • Crunchy, smooth, creamy, crispy, mushy, soft, greasy, crumbly, gelatinous, lumpy, grainy, flaky, tender, tough, juicy, chewy
  • Aroma
    • Citrus scents, coffee in the morning, cookies baking in the oven
  • Appearance
    • Color, plating, knife skills, freshness
  • Temperature
    • Hot soup on a cold day
    • Ice cold lemonade on a hot summer day

Step 3: Make Your Eating Experience More Enjoyable

  1. Make time to appreciate your food
  2. Sit down at a table
  3. Taste each bite
  4. Eat in a pleasant environment when possible
  5. Provide variety

(The above was from Center for Discovery.)

Resource: http://www.intuitiveeating.org/ by by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RDN and Elyse Resch, MS, RDN, CEDRD, Fiaedp, FADA, FAND.

Okay y’all, here are my eats for the day …

Breakfast

I had two crappily cooked eggs, 1 slice of honey wheat toast with 1 tsp of butter and 1 tsp of grape jelly, 1/2 C of sliced strawberries, and 1 tbsp of Cool Whip.

Lunch

I was in a salad mood for lunch, so I had 2 C of spinach, 1 C of broccoli, 1/2 of a large cucumber, 1 C carrots, 1/2 C of bell peppers tossed in 2 tbsp of Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing, and an egg topped with some salsa.

Snack

Around 3, I was needing a little something-something, so I cut up half of a cucumber and topped the rounds with a packet of BBQ tuna. A teeny tiny drizzle of sesame dressing rounded things out … YUM!

Dinner

I portioned out 5 oz. of chicken breast and sauteed it in my little ol’ cast iron skillet – once the chicken was cooked, I took it out and sauteed 1 C broccoli, 1 C green bell pepper, and 6 Brussels sprouts. I placed it all on a 2 C bed of spinach and added 1 tbsp of light ranch and 1 tbsp of BBQ sauce.

And, just for fun, Luke and I shared some beers – I tried the Shiner Oktoberfest and he tried the Real Ale Oktoberfest … we sort of passed them around.

Now, what is normal eating? This topic had always been extremely foreign to me, but Ellyn Satter clarifies this VERY WELL …

But What Exactly IS Normal Eating? By Ellyn Satter, RD

  • Normal eating is going to the table hungry and eating until you are satisfied.
  • It is being able to choose food you enjoy and eat it and truly get enough of it – not just stop eating because you think you should
  • Normal eating is being able to give some thought to your food selection so you get nutritious food, but not being so wary and restrictive that you miss out on enjoyable food.
  • Normal eating is mostly three meals a day, or four, or five, or six, or it can be choosing to much along the way (we typically need a consistent structure).
  • It is leaving some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow, or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful.
  • Normal eating is overeating at times, feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. And it cane be under eating at sat times and wishing you had more.
  • Normal eating is trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating.
  • Normal eating takes up some of your time and attention, but keeps its place as only one important area of your life.
  • In short, normal eating is flexible. It varies in response to your hunger, your schedule, your proximity to food, and your feelings.

Again, this was ALL so strange for me until I went to residential in Bellevue, but slowly and surely, I’m learning that all of this is TRUTH.

Hope you enjoyed my post!

Til Soon,

~ Mandy

Making Peace with Food + Intuitive Eating

Hello, hello my friends! Today’s topic is about making peace with food. I’m sharing my eats for the day and talking about intuitive eating, which is the ultimate goal for ED recovery. I’ve actually taken to intuitive eating readily, and I just try my best to eat proper portion sizes and stop when I’m full, not when my plate is clean.

What is intuitive eating? Intuitive eating focuses on nurturing your body rather than starving it, encourages your body’s innate signals of hunger, fullness, and food preference

Who is intuitive eating for? Intuitive eating is for everyone!

The 10 Principles from Intuitive Eating, 3rd Ed. by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RDN and Elyse Resch, MS, RDN, CEDRD, Fiaedp, FADA, FAND (I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK!)

  1. Reject the diet mentality – The diet mentality is the idea that there’s a diet out there somewhere that will work for you. Intuitive eating is the anti-diet.
  2. Honor your hunger – Hunger is not your enemy. Respond to your early signs of hunger by feeding your body. If you let yourself get excessively hungry, then you are likely to overeat.
  3. Make peace with food – Get rid of ideas about what you should or shouldn’t eat.
  4. Challenge the Food Police -Food is not good or bad and you are not good or bad for what you eat or don’t eat. We must challenge thoughts that tell us otherwise.
  5. Respect your fullness -Just as your body tells you when it is hungry, it also tells you when it is full.Listen for the signals of comfortable fullness, when you feel you’ve had enough. As you’re eating, check in with yourself to see how the food is tasting and how hungry or full you are feeling.
  6. Discover the satisfaction factor -Make your eating experience enjoyable. Have a meal that tastes good to you. Sit down to eat it. When you make eating a pleasurable experience, you might find it takes less food to satisfy you.
  7. Honor your feelings without using food – Emotional eating is a strategy for coping with feelings.Find other ways that are not related to food to deal with your feelings: take a walk, meditate, journal, call a friend.Become aware of the times when a feeling that you might call hunger is actually based in emotion.
  8. Respect your body – Rather than criticizing your body for how it looks and what you perceive is wrong with it, recognize it as capable and beautiful, just as it is.
  9. Exercise – Feel the difference! Find ways to move your body that you enjoy (i.e. JOYFUL EXERCISING). Shift the focus from losing weight to feeling energized, strong and alive.
  10. Gentle Nutrition – Honor your health.The food you eat should taste good and feel good.Remember that it’s your overall food patterns that shape your health. One meal or snack isn’t going to make or break your health.

Alrighty, onto some eats and more discussion. 🙂

Late Breakfast

I had breakfast later than usual, about 10:45,  because I stayed up too late and slept in too long, ha! I debated between oatmeal and eggs with bacon this morning, and oatmeal won out – I had about 2/3 C of oats with a banana, a spoonful of PB, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and soy milk.

This held me over for a LONG time, y’all, and it’s perhaps my favorite breakfast of all time.

Luke and I ran some errands in the early afternoon, and I wanted a diet Coke (with LOTS of fresh lime) …

Nothing wrong with a Coke sometimes, am I right?

I told myself that I wanted a Coke, something that I avoided while deep into my ED behaviors out of the fear that it was a “bad” food. But if you tell yourself that you can’t or shouldn’t have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that can build into uncontrollable cravings, and often, bingeing. When you finally “give in” to your forbidden foods, eating will be experienced so intensely that it usually results in Last Supper overeating (ya know what I mean? Last Supper overeating is eating as if it’s your last meal EVER) and overwhelming guilt.

So here’s the thing ~ call a truce with yourself and stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat (this does not mean eating everything in sight in one setting, FYI). It just means that no food is off limits, in moderation, and that the “diet mentality” has been rejected.

Restriction = Deprivation

When you rigidly limit the amount of food you are allowed to eat, it usually sets you up to crave larger quantities of that very food. In fact, being restricted from anything in life makes it extra special and highly coveted. Ergo, if you restrict “bad foods,” you will crave them intensely, and it can set an eating disordered person up for a binge.

Late Lunch/Snack

I ran to the store around 3, and I snapped up a TON of fresh veggies and a rotisserie chicken for dinner. By the time I got home, I was hungry and wanting to dig into those veggies, so I made a salad with spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, broccoli, radishes, a smidgen of low fat ranch dressing and a nice amount of salsa (my FAVORITE way to eat my veg).

I also had some undocumented deer sausage! 🙂

So how do you ultimately make peace with food? GIVE YOURSELF UNCONDITIONAL PERMISSION TO EAT.

  • Let go of black and white thinking, such as labeling foods as “good” or “bad”
  • Eat what you really want
  • Eat without compensatory behaviors, as this is not unconditional (for example, I’m allowed to eat this now, but tomorrow I will diet – this would not be an example of unconditional permission to eat).
  • Allow ALL foods into your eating world so that the choice for chocolate becomes emotionally equal to a choice for a peach.
    • Ironically, once you truly know you can eat whatever you want, the intensity to eat GREATLY DIMINISHES. The most effective way to instill this believe is to experience eating the very foods you forbid!

The Fear of Permission

  • It is common to feel like if you allow yourself to eat anything, then you won’t stop eating the previously forbidden foods.

The Science of Habituation

  • Research shows that the more a person is exposed to a particular food, the less appealing it becomes.
  • When you know that previously forbidden foods will *always* be allowed, the urgency to have large quantities of them diminishes.

Interesting stuff, no?

Late Dinner

Rotisserie chicken was on the menu tonight – I made a spinach salad with chicken breast, broccoli, a little cheese, and about 2 tbsp of light ranch.

I also had a bowl of strawberries with Greek yogurt and Cool Whip but didn’t document it!

Til Soon,

~ Mandy

Reference: http://www.intuitiveeating.org/ by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RDN and Elyse Resch, MS, RDN, CEDRD, Fiaedp, FADA, FAND.

Perfection Versus Excellence

Howdy my friends! How are you doing today? I’m doing very well. 🙂

Today I’d like to go into depth about perfection versus excellence. It’s a very important topic for me, and I learned SO MUCH about it at The Center for Discovery.  I’d like to share a few thoughts if I may.

Raise your hand if you’ve always been a PERFECTIONIST:

Yep, I’m raising my hand. I’m a perfectionist.

One of the issues that *many* people who struggle with eating disorders have is perfectionism. Seriously, it’s RAMPANT for many reasons. Some of us didn’t feel like we’ve lived up to other people’s expectations, for instance, or we’re born with the natural personality trail; stress can be a factor, etc. etc. We are all different, and eating disorders do not discriminate when it comes to any of these factors.

Perfectionism is the individual’s belief that he or she must be perfect in order to be acceptable. Perfectionism is black and white with no gray area in between. Anything other than perfection = failure. Perfectionism is an attitude, not necessarily a behavior. In other words, two people can engage in the same behavior such as trying to win an Olympic gold medal but one can be pursuing excellence and the other is demanding perfection. The difference lies in the thought process about the goal or behavior, not in the goal or behavior itself.

Unfortunately, perfectionists fail to meet these impossible standards (obviously), and thus, they set themselves up for low self-esteem and a sense of complete worthlessness. ED sufferers in particular believe that once they meet these impossible standards, they will be valued, successful, and worthwhile – able to ultimately control their lives. They may strive for perfection in their academic or work performance, morality, relationships, cleanliness and order, or dieting, exercise, body weight or shape. It is common for people with perfectionist traits to think in an “all-or-nothing” way where anything other than perfection is seen as failure.

It’s a vicious cycle.

I personally struggled with perfectionism for YEARS, y’all. I wanted to be the best … but my best was never good enough.The pursuit of excellence, however, is the desire to attain a goal of excellence, to achieve at a high level, to be the best that one can be but without the demand attached to the goal or desire. Pursuing excellence may require tremendous effort and focus as well as other resources. But, unlike perfectionism, it does not demand a sacrifice of self-esteem as it tends to focus on the process of achievement rather than the outcome.

PERFECTIONISM IS BLACK AND WHITE THINKING WHILE WE SHOULD BE THINKING IN GRAY TERMS!

“Strive for excellence, not perfection.” H Jackson Brown Jr

Here’s a helpful bullet point:

Perfectionism (Black and White Thinking):

  • There is nothing better
  • Unattainable
  • Failure inevitable
  • Depression
  • Being “right”
  • Fear
  • Anger and Frustration
  • Control
  • Taking
  • Doubt
  • Pressure
  • Result Focused
  • You’ll never be good enough
  • Mistakes are not tolerated
  • Inflexible and rigid
  • Despondence

Excellence (Gray Thinking):

  • The best we can hope for
  • Achievable with effort and planning
  • Sense of achievement
  • Contentment
  • Be willing to be wrong
  • Taking a risk
  • Powerful
  • Spontaneous
  • Giving
  • Confidence
  • Natural
  • Process focused
  • You’re one of the best
  • Accepting of mistakes
  • Flexible
  • Motivated

To reiterate, striving for excellence is gray thinking, Striving for perfectionism is black and white. But the world is NOT black and white – it’s gray. The perfectionist will *never* been good enough while those striving for excellence give themselves grace and see the world in a different view than just black and white.

Here’s some helpful ideas to help curb perfectionism and strive for EXCELLENCE, even in what we see as failures.

The nature of failure in excellence can be objective, tangible, and not changeable (i.e. an exam grade). So what’s your responsibility? You can ask “What can I do to change?” “What better choices can I make?” “What can I do now?” “What could I do differently in the future?”

But some things aren’t your responsibility, even for the excellence-seekers. For instance, you might think “It was out of my control. Other factors played a part.” “Is there anything I could do differently if a similar situation occurred again?”

And if you feel you’re FAILING, the nature is subjective, abstract, and changeable. You might think your responsibility is to ask “Shall I keep going?” “Shall I do something different?”

And again, some things are *not* your responsibility, but you can ask yourself “Is there anything I can do to make positive changes?”

Yes, I know that perfectionist black and white thinking is a MASSIVE THING to overcome – I’ve been seeing the world through perfectionist-glasses for most of my life, and I’m just now starting to work on changing my perspective.

Yes, it is rough to turn around perfectionism. It’s not an overnight process. But in recovery, the goal is to turn most of your thinking to EXCELLENCE, not PERFECTION. I’m not saying that it’s easy – it’s very complex. But it CAN be done with mindfulness and practice along with giving yourself some grace.

~ Mandy

References include Excellence versus Perfection by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D. and https://www.eatingdisorders.org.au

Joyful Exercise + Daily Food Log

Hello, hello! How are you today?

I’ve been exercising almost daily, and I’m *not* doing it to cancel calories, to punish myself, or to fall back into an ED behavior … I’m doing it JOYFULLY! So today’s post touches on joyful exercise.

Joyful exercise is remembering to be GENTLE with yourself, give yourself GRACE when you move your body. If you don’t feel up to exercising, it’s perfectly fine to take a rest day (or more). To me, joyful exercise is not a “have to do it” but rather a “fun thing to do,” a celebration of my body’s capabilities.

Joyful exercise also helps with my anxiety and mood disorders, y’all. It gets all those positive juices like serotonin and dopamine flowing nicely and helps keep my mood STABLE … well, as stable as it can be for a girl living with Bipolar I Disorder.

Remember to always strive for excellence/progress, NOT PERFECTION. I’ll do a blog post on this later on, but remember that perfection is unattainable, and seeking it makes one miserable.

Here’s a VERY GOOD article about joyful exercising that I found helpful: How to Find Balance with Exercise in Eating Disorder Recovery by Robyn Cruze

Onto the Daily Food Log!

Breakfast

I cooked 3 eggs over medium and added some leftover rib-eye with salsa. Holy YUM, you guys … this meal held me over for HOURS.

After breakfast, it was time for cardio! 🙂

Joyful Cardio

Today I did 45 minutes while zoning out to some awesome German musicals! As a side note, I look like a nasty she-beast-thing when I do cardio – I just crawl outta bed, put on deodorant, pull my hair up in a messy knot, and I just GO because I have to work out my morning jitters …. does anyone else get morning jitters? I have them, so I try to do cardio pretty quickly after I wake up and have breakfast and coffee.

After cardio, I took my shower  and got ready to go to counseling. I felt like an Ice Queen in my outfit today, hooray! And look at the joyful smile on my face! 🙂

Calliope was unimpressed with my fashion choices, silly girl.

Lunch

My lunch was right after counseling – at 3:00 p.m. – so I’m not sure whether to call it lunch or a snack. I think I’m going to consider it lunch today. Those eggs and steak kept me VERY FULL until I started thinking about food around 3:00. I had 1/2 C of plain Greek yogurt, a somewhat unripe peach (I bought two, and I’ll wait to eat the other one in a few more days), and a drizzle of honey.

After “sna-lunch,” I got dressed in my gym clothes and waited for Luke to come home from school. We hit the gym about 4:20 and stayed about 50 minutes doing legs …

Joyful Weightlifting

I *surprised* myself by actually LIKING what I saw in the above picture – I look HEALTHY and am well on my way to getting FITTER and more MUSCULAR.  I wasn’t judging my waist, my looks, my body … I’m JUST ME!

I love this quote – for YEARS and YEARS, I hadn’t been taking care of my body. Now it’s time to FLOURISH, not simply survive. 😉

Here’s a comparison pic: On the right is me while engaging in ED behaviors. I weighed about 130 lbs in that pic, but I don’t look happy or particularly healthy … I look more muscular, but that’s because I’d been doing weights for about 6 months, but on the left is the “new, non-ED edition, happy Mandy”  who’s on the path to getting muscular again.

I adore the girl on the left and feel so sorry for the girl on the right … but moving on … after weightlifting, I tried on my new Free People French Courtship Corset that I had received in the mail today. (Forgive the tag showing, I need to snip it …. I have this slip in different colors, both a size small and a size x-small … I don’t notice a difference in them!)

Look at my not-bony-back! I look STRONG! 🙂

Post-Workout Snack

I made a little veggie plate with half a cucumber, a carrot, 2 tbsp of hummus, and 1 tbsp of light ranch dressing. S+P finished it off!

Dinner

I butterflied a beer-marinaded chicken breast from United and cooked it in a little bit of butter, and then I placed it on a bed of spinach with some sauteed Brussels sprouts, chickpeas, and about 2 tbsp of light ranch dressing. Three little pickles rounded things out. 😉

After dinner, we chilled out and watched some TV … Luke’s special kitty friend Caprica was nestled on his chest, as per usual. Too cute!

At 10:00 p.m. I ate a goodly sized bowl of strawberries (about 2 C?) with a little Cool Whip. I completely FORGOT to document it, but there ya have it.

Alrighty, that’s all I have for today! I hope this helps someone out there who’s struggling! 🙂

Til Soon,

~ Mandy

 

Hunger and Satiety Scale + A Damn Great Rib-Eye

Howdy y’all! How’s it going?

Let’s talk about hunger and satiety – they’re pretty self-explanatory, yet in the throws of my eating disorder, I had become out of whack with my natural hunger and satiety cues. I’d stuff myself during binges and then purge, or I’d attempt to restrict, only breaking down into binging and purging. No a good situation, y’all. I was all over the place, my body was completely confused.

At the Center for Discovery in Bellevue, however, the nutritionist and staff encouraged us to start listening to our bodies, and they had us do a “check in” with how hungry we were on a scale from one to ten at dinnertime so we could practice using the scale, being intuitive about hunger and satiety, trusting our bodies to tell us how full or how hungry we were at the start of the meal.

One important aspect of recovering from an eating disorder is hearing and listening to hunger and satiety cues. Anyone trapped in an eating disorder knows that your “second head” (aka the eating disorder) controls what you eat, when you eat, how you eat, etc. aka NOTHING to do with hunger and satiety. In fact, a lot of people with eating disorders completely lose these hunger and satiety cues and say they have no idea what hunger and satiety mean.

First step at finding your hunger/satiety cues is following an appropriate meal plan, created by both you and your eating disorder dietitian. Together you can come up with suggestions for meals and snacks that are realistic and will meet your nutrition needs. Once your body starts “working” again, your metabolism will start to come back and people say that slowly but surely they start to feel subtle signs of hunger and satiety.

Once that happens, it’s time to start tracking hunger and satiety cues. This is not meant to be “perfect” but rather a chance to learn more about these signals and what they mean and where they come from.

Here’s that very scale:

The Hunger and Satiety Scale

  1. You are STARVING! You feel tired and empty, with no energy. You may have a headache and feel nauseous.
  2. VERY HUNGRY – You can’t seem to tolerate anything. You may be preoccupied with hunger, and pangs may be very uncomfortable. You may be feeling dizzy and grumpy.
  3. Ready for a Meal – Your stomach may be growling, and you can sense pangs/gnawing sensations; you may even notice a slight pressure in the back of the throat. You are unable to focus on school, work, or conversation.
  4. On the Edge of Hunger – You may be feeling empty or hollow in the stomach, perhaps noticing your thoughts drifting towards food.
  5. Neutral – Not hungry or full. You body had enough fuel. You are ale to focus. If you are eating, you can still eat more.
  6. Mildly Satisfied, like after a snack – Your body feels energized but could take a few more bites.
  7. Satisfied, like after a meal – You body feels energized but not full. Hunger is gone and the rate of eating slows.
  8. Definitely Full – 2 bites too many. The taste, texture, and appearance of food may not stand out very much at this point. You may notice yourself eating without paying attention to the food. You may feel a slight discomfort.
  9. Uncomfortably Full – You are VERY full, your stomach may hurt, you may be feeling sleepy or sluggish.
  10. Beyond Full – You are likely physically miserable. You may have an intense urge to lie down, you are in pain, you can’t focus, don’t want or can’t move.

I do very well now listening to my hunger cues thanks to this little scale.

For instance, when I ate dinner on Sunday night, my hunger was at about a 3 before my meal. Once I had finished, I was at a 7.5, I’d say … I was pretty damn satisfied! 🙂 My hubs cooked up two giant rib-eyes (I cut mine in half and saved it for another meal), and we had steak salads with heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers (and hummus for me), all on a bed of spinach with bleu cheese.

This was a most satisfying, delicious meal, and it was a WONDERFUL chance to really put the scale to use. 😉

Here are a few “guidelines” about the scale:

1.  Try to start eating when you’re at a 3 or 4 on the hunger scale- what does that feel like to you?

2.  Stop eating at a 5 or 6 – and see what that feels like. It’s also helpful to sometimes wait to see if your body feels any different after digesting your meal (ex. the typical 20 minutes later idea).

3.  Instead of relying on external signals (like an empty plate) to stop eating, try to listen to your satiety cues.  This may mean putting your fork down between bites and trying to sit still with food still on your plate, i.e. just slowing down while you eat and listening to the cues.

I hope this scale helps someone out there … it’s very *different* for me to be listening to my cues and relying on that scale to gauge fullness and hunger. The bulimia in particular caused an abnormal increase in the sensation of hunger in my brain, also known as hyperorexia. In hyperorexia, you’re only satisfied with large meals (and then purge them, leading to even MORE hunger … which leads to more purging, you get the idea).

Hope you’re having a GREAT day! 🙂

~ Mandy

Reference: All About Hunger and Fullness in ED Recovery by Jennifer McGurk.

 

All Foods Fit Philosophy + Daily Food Log

Howdy y’all! How are you today? I’m doing just fabulously.

In fact, I felt downright LOVELY in my Free People dress and jeans ~But onto a more serious topic: today I want to talk about the All Foods Fit Philosophy. The All Foods Fit nutrition philosophy means that all foods, in moderation and balance and with variety, have a place in a meal plan.

Moderation means eating various amounts of food without going to extremes of either too much or too little. This does not mean elimination of any food type.

  • Consuming portion sizes of food …what does this mean for me? I CAN EAT ANYTHING I CHOOSE IN MODERATION. I no longer have “safe” foods or “bad” foods in my life.

For instance, I used to fear oatmeal for breakfast, so I’d either eat a giant bowl and vomit it up or simply not eat breakfast. As you can see from my meals today, that has changed drastically. I look at exchanges from Center for Discovery – they gave me the little booklet that we always used to cook our food, and the nutritionist also gave me some blank planning sheets.

Examples of fat and fruit exchanges …. I’m at the point where I’m pretty good at eyeballing my exchanges – such as knowing 2 tsp of PB equals one fat, and the ultimate goal here is to learn intuitive eating, which I’m picking up surprisingly quickly! 🙂

Breakfast

I had 2/3 C of oatmeal cooked in milk and topped with a banana and about 2 tbsp of PB. That equals 2 carb exchanges, 1 fruit exchange, a fat exchange, and a dairy exchange. 🙂

Lunch

For lunch, I used to bake a sheet of veggies and top them with copious amounts of ranch dressing. That was “safe” to me. Now things are COMPLETELY different.

For lunch today, I baked half a chicken breast, sauteed some broccoli and yellow onion, and placed them on 1/2 C of rice and 1/2 C of black beans – toppers are salsa and 2 tbsp hummus. That equals about 3 protein exchanges, 1 starch for the rice, about 2 veg exchanges, a freebee with the salsa, and a fat for the hummus. It’s a BALANCED meal for sure …

Balance means at the end of the day, your overall food intake was balanced by consuming all the recommended food groups of carbs, proteins, dairy, fruits, veggies, and fats. It does not have to be achieved at every meal.

  • Consuming the food groups throughout the day.
  • Creating balanced meals by incorporating carbs/starches, fats, protein, dairy, fruits and veggies at breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks.

Variety means eating different foods from each food group (not just foods that are deemed “safe”) and ensures that we’re getting micro and macro nutrients and keeping our taste buds happy.

  • Choosing different meal options daily; not eating the same foods at meals or snacks.

Snack

My snack today *sort of* followed the “not eating the same foods” idea, but we were low on food, so plain Greek yogurt (2/3 C = 2 proteins), a light dusting of oats, about 2 tsp honey, and about 2 tsp of PB it was!

Dinner

We went to Walmart and United to pick up some essentials, and Luke requested a stir fry. I sauteed two chicken breasts, added half of a yellow onion, bok choy, baby corn, and mushrooms along with some P.F. Chang Kung Pao sauce. I placed it all on a bed of rice (I had already cooked some brown rice earlier and have copious amounts).

An easy peasy dinner to make, and one with a ton of variety to it too! I’m sure I had two protein exchanges, about three veggie exchanges, and one starch exchange for the rice. As for the sauce, it might be a starch and a fat … I’m not sure, but it’s perfectly OKAY to not be sure sometimes!

Like I said, it’s okay to not always be sure of your exchanges – just EAT INTUITIVELY and SAVOR THE FOOD. No, I don’t do morning snack typically or night snack as I’m usually too satisfied to eat them. I do, however, do afternoon snack. 😉

Anyone can adopt an All Foods Fit philosophy. When you live in the All Foods Fit philosophy mindset, you eat in a way that supports your body, your mind, and your taste buds. You eat what YOU want, not what society wants, not what some diet book tells you, not what the eating disorder will allow. All Foods Fit means that meal times happen without judgement – for example, broccoli, ice cream, salmon, meats, or potato chips!

This philosophy is a non-diet approach that asks the person with eating disordered behaviors to challenge distorted food beliefs, gives you unconditional permission to eat in a mindful manner without the attachment of labels, and allows you to trust your body with food.

My distorted ideas HAVE been challenged and changed, and I’m beyond proud of it. If you struggle with eating disordered behaviors, THERE IS HOPE. I struggled for nearly all my life, yet now I’m seeing such a positive difference in myself.

Don’t be afraid to challenge your beliefs, my friends. It can be LIFE CHANGING to do so,

~ Mandy

Starting Over at the Gym

Howdy, howdy! How are y’all doing today? I’m feeling tired yet accomplished as I went to the gym again with Luke!

It’s HARD starting over at the gym after about 3-4 months of not going. I can’t do my usual weight on the machines, but that’s A-OKAY. I’m just getting started again, and I don’t need to tax myself too much. I was proud that I did 180 on the quad press (I used to do 230), and then Luke and I worked our calves and did a few other leg machines to boot. 🙂 On a positive note, Luke said that my quads are still showing muscle, which was AMAZING to hear from him; I’m more than ready to get my muscular physique back!

Admittedly, my ass and legs felt like jello once we were done after an hour and 10 minutes! Ha!

My belly and lower tummy are my main “problem areas” – when one has an eating disorder and starts feeding her body properly, the bulk of the food goes to the core to protect internal organs, and thus my core is flabby and has a newfound fat roll … therefore, I’ll be needing to do sit-ups again and eat less carbs and more protein to smooth things out.

This is what I look like currently, at about 140-145-ish lbs (I tossed our scale before I went to residential, and I’m so glad that I did!).

No, I DO NOT LOOK BAD in this picture. I just look … not muscular anymore. I hope to do a “before” and “after” with this pic eventually, but it’ll take a few months or so to see a difference.

Now this was me a few months ago when I was more muscular at about 137 lbs:

And this is a before and after of me at my most muscular (but yes, I was still engaging in eating disordered behaviors at this point, so it’s nothing to laud me about … I just miss dem abs though).

Am I glad I chose recovery despite losing my muscular physique? THAT’S A RESOUNDING YES! My boobs grew from a 32A to a 32D (YAAAASS), and I’m not binging, purging, or restricting. I learned how to nourish my body properly, and that’s something I truly needed help with! Plus, my hair and nails look SO MUCH HEALTHIER NOW, and I’m hoping they continue to keep growing.

So here’s to a more muscular and healthier Mandy in the future!

Cheers y’all,

~ Mandy