Ancient Korean Beauty Secrets

Old Korean beauties have been leading the beauty world for a long time. They have been working over their beauty since the long term; they have these natural beauty tips that have served as a boon to their generation. Natural beauty is something which surely a blessing to their generation. Natural beauty is something that inevitably gets into the heart directly, whereas this artificial beauty only captures the eye.

Ancient Korean Beauty Secrets

Reason Korean Skin Shines

Korean beauty world has seriously taken over global beauty and skincare. They do a  strict skincare routine which helps in making their skin soft and smooth it is proven by the different magazine that Korean beauty products are termed to be as a high-quality product which does not have any adding chemicals into their products. Here we are sharing some pro tips that can help you understand the reasons why their skin is so shiny and natural.

Usage of the Korean beauty sheet masks

Korean people have gone crazy about the cotton beauty sheets, which is helpful in multiple ways to the skin. They are useful in exfoliating, brightening the skin, repairing the skin among many other benefits, and remedies for the numerous skin problems, so it would be best if you go for a natural best Korean exfoliator, which is cotton beauty sheet.

Good skin (face) massages

Koreans treat their skin with care. The secret to their beauty is undoubtedly their massaging remedy, which helps them to create a shiny look over their faces and overall complexion. Treating your skin in an accurate manner is the essential thing that a person can undertake for shinny, brightening, glowing, and healthy skin. Face massages circulate the blood under the area and help the skin to repair and have a never-ending bright skincare result. You can make use of different best Korean exfoliator, which can provide you your desired outcome.

The Famous 10-Step Regimen And Tools

Korean beauty follows these 10 step beauty tips, which can make a good result for the skin. Here we are giving you a local guide of these beauty tips.

1. Cleansing

The first step to self-care is the cleansing. This helps in removing the excess oils over the skin.

2. Second, cleanse

The very second step of the self-care is second cleanse, which helps to remove the residue of the first cleansing. The double cleansing is the appropriate step, which helps in getting you the desired result from your skincare routine.

3. Exfoliate

The most crucial step of a skincare routine is exfoliation, which helps in shedding off the dead and dull skin cells and helps you to get clear skin. The best exfoliator is undoubtedly the Best Korean exfoliator, which helps people to get desired beauty results.

4. Toner

Toner is helpful for the process of dehydration of the skin cells. The toner should be of low ph level, which enables to maintain of the level of better hydration and to make it absorb the right beauty products.

5. Essence

This step acts as a blend for the product applied and the toner or serum so that you can get hydrating skin and also helps in repairing the skin.

6. Treatment

The step of the procedure is very personalized and should always be included in the skincare routine. This step act as a repairing factor that can repair the problem of acne to the hyperpigmentation and many others.

7. Eye cream

It is understood fact that area under the eyes is more delicate and is always benefited with some additional care. You should be considerate about the eye under the skin.

8. Moisturizer

You must be using moisture, which is suitable for your skin. So make sure you would not be getting all the benefits such as brightening and glowing skin, which appears to be healthy and natural.

9. Sheet masks

These sheet masks are helping out different Korean beauties which help them to get better sheets that help create good and healthy skin. These sheet masks are useful in maintaining the ph level of the skin, hydrating your skin, and repairing can also be done with the use of these sheet masks. These should be of high quality same that of best Korean exfoliator and many others to go along.

10. Sunblock

After all the skincare routine, you can possibly get to the sunblock step done. It is helpful for those who have a sun allergy and sun problems. You can get the Best Korean exfoliator who can help in getting all the good and healthy results for better skin.

Choose Source Products Carefully

When choosing the skin care product, you should be more considerate of the product you are using for your skincare routi9ne; you should be using the best of the best products that can help you to get the healthy, shiny, glowing and radiant skin.  The best Korean exfoliator is one of the instances of a quality product. Korean products are undoubtedly a better thing to use as a self-care product.

Choose Product Appropriate Skin Type

Choosing top-notch quality products such as exfoliator is not enough; you are also required to get one that is best suited for your skin. Even a good brand can be harmful to your skin as there are various skin tones, texture, and other skin related facts, which makes it more important to know your skin type and tone. This will help you to understand the best suiting skincare product, which can help you to get the desired beauty result the same as that of Korean beauties. The right skin care product can help you to get glowing and natural skin results.

Conclusion

The article shows up with an in-depth study of the ancient Chinese secrets which can help today’s generation to attain those beauty secrets efficiently and effectively. By following these Korean tips, you can quickly get your desired smooth and clear skin. You can possibly make use of the Korean beauty product like best Korean exfoliator, which helps get clear skin.

When you think you’ll never have a healthy relationship with food…

Hello hello hello! It’s been awhile and for that, I apologize. Life has thrown some busy weeks at me and between my real life job, writing on the side, my Instagram, this blog along with my partner and friends and family- I’ve had to let some things slide lately. I have been doing some writing lately- which you can read HERE and HERE if you’re interested but it’s nice to be back on my own page, where I can let all my silliness/not-always-making-senseness shine through.

This is a post I’ve been meaning to make for awhile- one that might have been helpful to me at the start of my recovery. Now before I start, I just want to say that I am still learning. This post hits on some of the principles of intuitive eating- but that’s an area I am constantly exploring. Even though I spend most of my days consuming content related to all inclusive wellness, intuitive eating and Health at Every Size, I am far from knowing it all. But if you’re interested, I fully recommend reading the book Intuitive Eating or if you’re podcast person, I highly recommend Christy Harrison’s Food Psych– it consistently blows my mind.

Anyway.

There was a time when I was so hungry, I literally couldn’t imagine that I would ever be full. That might sound a little nutty to people who haven’t experienced disordered eating, but it’s true. When I was deep in my restriction, I thought that if I let go of all my food rules, just let myself eat unrestricted around food, then I would eat it all and I would never stop. When I would celebrate holidays with my family and be surrounded by food that I craved so intensely, I would end up eating much more of it than I intended (usually while in the kitchen, where I would clean up- mostly as an excuse to eat straight from the dish). I would eat as much as I could while following my most lenient of rules. And I still never felt satiated. Those moments proved to me that I could not be trusted without strict guidelines. I thought that I would never be capable of being full- so instead, I never gave myself that full permission to eat what I craved, when I craved it.

For a while before I started my “real” recovery, I let myself have more/different foods- sometimes I would even have pasta! Or “regular” bread or red meat or a cookie! But there were still rules. And most of the time, I would take one or two cookies from a package and then let the rest get stale in my cabinet. There were still portion limits, times that it was “okay” to have them and times when it wasn’t- mostly, there were times when it wasn’t. Food was a minefield that I had to navigate; one wrong step and it would impact my future forever. 

When I did immerse myself in recovery, I let go of all the rules. There was no more foods on my “cannot eat” list, there were no more rules about times or portions or number of meals or snacks. I just ate. And that is scary. It is scary to let go of our food rules- for so many people with disordered eating or with a history of dieting, food rules are what allows us to feel in control. They give us a false sense of safety, the idea that as long as we follow them, we can be “good”. So to let go of them is a huge and terrifying step.

I’m not going to lie: at first, it feels like you really will never be full. Rarely do you feel satiated in those beginning stages. But the most important thing you can do is keep going. Giving up at that point is just going right back to square one. It’s important to keep going and keep eating, without rules. If you’re hungry, it’s important to eat. If you can’t stop thinking about food, you’re probably hungry (read this from Caroline Dooner about mental restriction).

Here’s what I can tell you: at some point, you will start to be able to recognize your hunger/fullness cues with astonishing clarity. It may take awhile- remember that your body as been in starvation mode essentially as long as you’ve been dieting/engaging with your eating disorder. Just as you don’t trust it, your body doesn’t trust you either. It doesn’t trust that you will continue to feed it adequately. It is storing food because it doesn’t know if it’s going to be consistent. It’s not ready to send you those fullness cues because it doesn’t want you to stop eating- it wants to repair your body’s systems that haven’t been getting enough fuel for years. It wants to make sure your heart and your lungs and your digestive system have enough energy. It wants to get you your period back if you’ve lost it. Your body is going to burn through this energy at first because there’s so many things to be done and it doesn’t know how long this increased intake is going to last. Basically, this is a period of learning reciprocal trust between you and your body. It’s learning to trust that you’ll feed it; you’re learning to trust that your body is not suddenly going to implode if you start eating adequately.

During this time, you might have voices that pop up and tell you that you’re sabotaging your health, your diet, your life. Of course! Your eating disorder/diet is going to be pissed about this break up. They’ve had control of you for so long; of course they are going to want to rebel when you stop listening. And there will be times when their words will be seductive, where they’ll really convince you that you might be better off going back to them.

You won’t be. Going back to your eating disorder/disordered eating/chronic dieting will never make you happier. And it’s not something that you can negotiate with. You cannot be fully recovered if you still have a foot in diet culture. You just have to give it your all, baby.

I know.

It’s scary.

 

But here’s the thing: if no food are off limits…if you’re done listening to the rules that unhealthy voice set for you…if you’re done restricting, weighing all your foods or measuring out every painstaking ounce…your body will tell you what you need. Really, it will. When you stop forcing your body to meet certain guidelines, it will tell you what it needs. Sometimes it’s a cookie. Sometimes it’s a salad. Sometimes it’s both or neither. It will take you awhile to unlearn everything diet culture taught you- and then to relearn how to listen to your body and give it what it needs.

But I promise that you can do it. We are all born with an innate sense of what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat. And as much as you might think you’re somehow broken, I promise that you’re not and that you can heal your relationship to food.

My plan is start posting about intuitive eating and Health at Every Size more often since there’s so much confusion around them- but also feel free to email me with any questions you’d like answered on the blog! Stay tuned- and in the meantime, follow me on all the things!

What is happening with my stomach?: The not-so-glamorous parts of recovery

A few weeks ago, I posted about my recovery journey and I got an influx of messages from people in recovery, people who want to recover, people who have a family member/partner/friend who wants to recover. And I got a lot of questions. But by far, the most common question I got was something along the lines of what the hell is happening with my stomach?

Stomach issues. No one gets through recovery without dealing with some sort of abdominal distress, constipation, gas, bloating, etc (that I know of). And obviously, these are not the most glamorous issues to talk about. Nobody loves talking about their bodily functions- except, of course, dietitians, luckily for you guys! So I’m going to dive into some of the most difficult parts of recovery that I went through as it pertains to my tummy.

Bloating

The big bad bloat! Bloating is by far one of the most common and most uncomfortable parts of recovery. Bloating starts on day one and many times, it doesn’t go away for months. Some of that bloat is tummy bloat of course. But it frequently, it can feel like a full body experience- and in some ways it is. Swelling happens because your body is trying to repair itself. Think of a sprained ankle. It swells while it heals. That’s what happens to your body- it swells while it heals. And by far one of the most common places damage has been done is the gastrointestinal tract. For many people who have battled eating disorders, you’ve spent years restricting/purging/abusing your digestive system. For those of us who had restrictive eating disorders, our digestive tracts are not used to processing foods- especially so many different foods that we are presented with in recovery. Our bodies have to work harder and to readjust to eating a mix of foods again. Same logic for those who have been purging- you’re now asking your body to do a different thing it isn’t used to. So it’s going to take some time for it to readjust. Be patient and keep eating. Whatever you do, do not think “Oh, I’m bloated so I’m just going to eat fruits/vegetables/’healthy’ things”- more often than not, those things are just going to increase your bloat. Your best bet when you’re feeling super bloated and uncomfortable is to stick to more processed, less fibrous foods. THIS POST by Amalie Lee explains it really well. Keep eating and it will get better!

Stomach Pain/Gas

Stomach pain is real during recovery. I dealt with it often. And I have the same general explanation as the one above. Your body isn’t used to everything that’s happening when you start eating again. Your digestive system is not used to working so hard- and oftentimes, the muscles have actually gotten weaker. It’s been on vacation for however long you restricted/used ED behaviors and quite honestly, it’s still a bit tired. Many times, it has to do with gas (oh the wonders of recovery). There’s a lot of gas in the first stages of recovery. There just is. Hopefully you live with people you can joke about it with; it’s much easier that way. The stomach pains and gas will go away, it just takes time to rebuild and strengthen those muscles. In my experience, it passes a bit sooner than the bloating. There are still particular foods that I restricted during my ED days that cause my a stomachache when I eat them- but those are few and far between compared to what they used to be like. Some tips for dealing with stomachaches:

  • Ginger or peppermint tea always help settle my stomach.
  • A warm compress- like these ones my sister makes over at Payne and Comfort (no, I did not intend for this to be an ad for her but I did use it a lot with stomach pain and still do).
  • Laying on my right side usually helps move some things around and makes me a little more comfortable.
  • Tracing the outline of my colon- stay with me here. I learned this from a dietitian I worked with during my internship, who said she learned it as a pediatric dietitian- but still useful for adults. Put you fingers on your lower right stomach, right above the hip. Tap your fingers all the way up to under your ribcage, across to the other side and then back down the left side. That’s the general area where your large intestine is and it usually helps move stuff through- or at the very least, it feels kinda nice and makes me feel like I’m doing something to improve my stomach aches.

Heartburn/Acid Reflux/Indigestion

This is something I dealt with a lot but honestly, it’s gotten better with recovery. I’ve always had issues with acid reflux, especially during my ED days, but it’s a common symptom during recovery as well. I don’t have a clear answer as to why this is but most people think it’s something to do with the fact that your digestion as a person in recovery is way slower than the average person’s- usually double or triple the average time it takes for someone to digest. Again, those muscles have atrophied and aren’t as efficient as they once were. They can get back there but they need to be exercised to get stronger- so think of every meal as a workout for your digestive system. They get a little stronger each day, but it doesn’t happen overnight (just like any other part of your body). However, because of this, food sits in your stomach longer and there’s more opportunity for heartburn/indigestion. It is uncomfortable- tips I have include more ginger/herbal teas, sitting upright for at least an hour after a meal, not drinking coffee/caffeine if I’m experiencing reflux already and avoiding alcohol while symptoms persist. Occasionally, I will take a Tums if things are really uncomfortable but I try not to rely on them too much- same goes with any other OTC heartburn remedy. These things will usually pass on their own, you just have to give it some time!

Diarrhea/Constipation

Saved the best for last! When you start eating more in recovery, you are most likely going to experience diarrhea and/or constipation at different points. When you first start eating again, your body more likely than not is not going to be able to figure how to process things right away so you may experience more bowel movements than normal. On the flip side, your sluggish digestive system may also be like screw this, I am not going to digest anything and you may end up constipated. Both of these things are normal, both of these things are okay, and both of these things will pass if you keep eating. One thing worth noting is that I had horrible constipation nearly my whole life. It was a joke with my family, my friends and my partner. So to all my sisters with constipation I feel you and I have been there. But since recovery, I have had maybe one or two instances of constipation, if that. I always thought that this issue was just genetic, just how my body was but it turns out it was a symptom of restriction. This was, by far, one of the best things that happened during my recovery as constipation literally plagued me before.

The bottom line is all of these things will get better. Be patient and keep going!

Have other questions you want me to answer? Send me an email [email protected] or leave a comment here!

in the meantime, follow me on all the things!

A Piece of the Puzzle (Recovery Thoughts Seven Months In)

Do you guys notice anything different about me? I’ve given myself a blog makeover and I gotta tell you guys, I’m loving it! I realized that my old format looks different on laptops vs phones vs tablets and sometimes made the font and layout different depending on your device so I decided it was time for some renovations. I also made some edits to my Facebook page and have been keeping up with my Instagram, as usual. Soon enough, I will get into the habit of tweeting but I’ve been off Twitter since my junior year of college so it’s a hard thing for me to get back into! Does anyone else have Twitter problems? I certainly do.

Anyways, the last month has been busy in the best kind of way. I’ve been settling into my own, all-mine apartment which still makes me feel like I’m on a vacation with myself. I’ve also been getting adjusted at work (side note: I love my job, I love my job, I love my job). I’ve been going for night-time walks, listening to lots of podcasts, watching lots of Netflix, rediscovering my love of cooking, reading, writing, exploring and generally just doing lots of things that make me feel fulfilled.

This past week marks my seventh month in recovery. Recovery hasn’t been at the forefront of my mind like it has been for the past few months. This is both good and bad- good because my life is getting bigger. It’s like my food and recovery and exercise thoughts were a thought bubble over my head that is slowly getting further and further away, crowded out by thoughts of self-care, writing, relationships and late-night ice cream endeavors. But in another way, I recognize that it may make it easier to slip into old behaviors and thought patterns if I’m not careful. So I’m being careful. Boy-in-a-germ-proof-bubble kind of careful. I try to make sure that I’m eating enough and taking care of myself and when I find that I have an ED thought or a body hate moment, I show myself compassion and gently direct myself back on the right path. Sometimes this is easy and sometimes it’s not. It’s always worth it.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my recovery and my progress and my struggles. One early recovery memory has come back to me a few times over the past month. Let me just paint the picture here. It’s a chilly February morning. I’m driving to my internship at the hospital. Normally, this drive seems long and tiresome. Usually at this point, I’m already hoping that I would get out of the hospital a little bit early because the afternoon rut I always hit leaves me foggy-headed and exhausted. But this day in particular, I found myself singing along to the radio in my car. And this is not my normal, quiet kind of singing that I do so often with the folksy, sing-song-y music that I’m usually listening to. This is full-on, body-moving, running-out-of-breath singing along to a Taylor Swift song that came up on my iPod. I was bouncing around and then laughing at the silliness of the whole situation- actually laughing, out loud, at myself.

It wasn’t until later that week that I realized why that moment felt so refreshing and real. It was because for the first time in a long time, I actually had energy. I was actually meeting my body’s needs and not using all my energy on an extensive work out in the afternoon. My body was actually being taken care of in a way it hadn’t been for years. I was dancing, shaking, moving, singing in a beautiful, revitalizing way without realizing what a wonderful accomplishment that was in and of itself. It took me days to realize that that silly, happy moment was actually representative of the progress I had made.

That is what recovery is like.

As I move further along into my recovery, I find myself passing these milestone moments and not realizing until later. Not even always milestones- just moments that show how much progress I’ve made since I started this process. In the beginning, everything was a big THING. A few weeks into recovery, I went out for a milkshake-and-french-fry snack in the middle of the day. MILKSHAKES. In. the. Middle. Of. The. Day. This is groundbreaking stuff people. And it was a THING. All day, I thought about this huge recovery win. And it was. In the beginning everything was a huge win and I don’t have any regrets about that. In the beginning, these things need to be celebrated and it is something to be excited about. Beating those fear foods becomes an event and that is a-okay with me. Making a breakfast date with my partner (can I start just calling him Charles now? Yes? Good!) specifically to eat French toast was understandable and it was exciting. But now, the focus has come less off the food and more on the living.

I still have recovery wins- when I have an unexpected afternoon snack, when I bought Oreos for the first time in years last week (!!!), when I let myself lay on the couch after

work and just be lazy, something that my ED would have never allowed me to do. Last weekend, I went to a lake house in Maine with my Charles’ family and his grandfather made sausage and biscuits for breakfast, which Charles has told me about multiple times over the past few years. And instead of making myself something else for breakfast (even though I really wanted the biscuits) or eating it and having a fit of anxiety later or denying breakfast altogether, I was able to enjoy the moment with his family and eat. No guilt, no shame, no anxiety. I was able to engage in life without feeling trapped by my eating disorder. (PS later that day, I had a cookie straight out of the oven when his grandmother offered me one- two wins in one day!)

These things are still exciting to me- how could they not be after the box that my eating disorder trapped me in? But they’re not the only things I think about anymore. I’m learning to live a much bigger life and embrace all the bumps and the laughs and the changes and the anxieties and the beauty. I try to show up to this life and engage in it as much as possible. And through all this living, I sometimes forget to celebrate all the things that would have made me through myself a small party in the past. But that’s okay, too. I don’t feel like I’m missing out. Rather, I accept those things as part of this new, happier, healthier, greater life I’m living. A piece of the puzzle.

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Link Love: September Favorites

Happy September! I can’t believe it’s already September. Where does the time go? I feel like it’s been awhile (at least a couple weeks) since I had a regular post on here and I assure you, I will be back to regular programming soon. Between my job, adjusting to the move and the physical therapy I’ve been doing for my knees, I haven’t had much time to write lately. I have about three posts in the works- here’s hoping I finish one soon! (PS as always, I’ve managed to keep up with Instagram- if you’re not already following me, check it out HERE)

It’s been awhile since I did Link Love- I got into the pattern of doing it on the first of the month but August 1 was the day I moved into my new apartment and blogging just wasn’t happening  that day or the days leading up to it (I kind of waited until the last 48 hours to pack my life’s belongings up neatly into boxes…oops). So instead, I have two month’s worth of links to share with all of y’all! Hope you enjoy them and if you have any thoughts or comments or questions or general merriment to share, please leave them in the comments below! Happy reading 🙂

Why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism
This is a great article about racism in the US. There are so many people I’ve met in my life who try to deny the presence of systemic racism in our country and it makes me frustrated that people can’t talk about it in a reasonable, adult way. I also just need to share the tweet below that so profoundly describes white privilege (don’t even get me started on this Colin Kaepernick situation).

There is no social justice without bodies
Linda Bacon, the pioneer of the Health at Every Size movement and author of the book, wrote a great piece about weightism on the HAES blog this month. Linda Bacon is knowledgable, progressive and all-around amazing. 

When will food issues be on politician’s plates?
Food issues- sustainable agriculture, food insecurity and anti-hunger initiatives- are all things I am very passionate about (hence the reason I have the job that I do) but they are issues that politicians rarely address. I met a woman running for State Representative here in New Hampshire who advocates for sustainable agriculture as one of her main issues and it was so refreshing and exciting to see a political who is passionate about the work that is so important to our future.

Body acceptance rises among women
!!!!!! Finally some good news. This makes me so happy. Let’s take our bodies BACK.

We’re so confused: The problem with health and exercise studies
As a dietitian, the amount of nutrition information on the internet is truly terrifying. If I had a nickel for every time someone read that “you should eat XYZ everyday” or that “ABC is the new superfood/magic potion/answer to all of life’s questions”, I would be a freaking millionaire.

What to do with those leftover meal plan swipes
Back to school seemed like a good time to talk about food insecurity on college campuses. Most people don’t think about hunger on college campuses but it is very real. And in many cases, dining halls give you more swipes than you can use in a semester. What a wonderful solution to a big problem!

The problem with thin privilege
THIS IS SO GOOD. Thin privilege, body shaming, feminism, social justice all in one place. PLUS Kelsey Miller is amazing and you should all read her book Big Girl if you’re looking to see why you should give up dieting for good!

That’s all for now! Like I said, please feel free to leave any comments below and have a beautiful first day of September!

The Aftermath of Anorexia

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you start your week of with clarity, energy and peace. Linking up with Julia over at Drops of Jules for this post- finally! I’ve been meaning to do it for months now and I’m just getting around to writing a relevant post. Cheers to quiet evenings!

For most of my readers, you know that I struggled with anorexia and excessive exercise for over 6 years. About 6 and a half months ago, I started my path to recovery and it’s made all the difference in the world. But anorexia refuses to forgotten so quickly and has left her mark all over my life and all around my body. There’s many, many physical effects from anorexia and there’s just as many in recovery- digestive issues, night sweats, swelling. I could go on for days (and maybe I will in a future blog post. Because there’s SO many strange things that happen to your body when you start treating it well after years of abuse).

About a month into my recovery, I started having terrible knee and hip pain. A couple weeks after that, my feet started aching so bad I had to hold myself up on the railings when I went down the stairs in the morning. I’ve recently started adding exercise slowly back into my life in small ways; mostly walks and a little bit of yoga. The one day I did try to run, my knee pain was so intense I had to stop after doing less than a tenth of what I used to do.

I recently had a physical to ensure that my health was improving as I recovered. I asked my doctor about my knee and hip pain and was referred to an orthopedic doctor. I was diagnosed with bursitis in my hips, femoral patella syndrome and told my knee caps were out of alignment. The results of six years of running several miles every single day, only taking a day off every other week or so. The results of abusing my body in the same way for days on end. I was told that in order to run again, I would have to avoid stairs and bending my knees, wear a brace, and complete 6 months of physical therapy. It hit me hard hearing that I may not ever be able to run the way I used to. I don’t mean in the obsessive, exhausting way that I used to. I mean in the days before the disorder- the days when running meant anxiety relief and freedom. When running was just a way to connect to the Earth and clear my mind. Knowing that I might not ever be a runner again struck me in a way I can’t quite explain. And then again a few weeks later, I got more news.

Last week, I got the results from a bone density scan that I had done late in July. My doctor told me what I had been half expecting but fully dreading: I have severe bone loss and am right on the border of osteoporosis. At 23 years old, I have the bones of a 70-year-old woman. Needless to say, the news shocked and devastated me. My first reaction to think about what this could mean long term. All I could picture was myself at 40 years old, hunched over and going through life with an unnecessary amount of pain. I thought about how hard it is to get pregnant with such serious nutrient deficiencies and how my body likely isn’t healthy enough to get pregnant anyways. I’m certainly not trying to have kids right now but my goal in life has always been to be a mother. I know I’ve already put any future pregnancies at risk and made conceiving harder for me; this news just added fuel to the fire. I thought about the back pain I’ve had for years and how I could have avoided all of it. And I thought about all the things I could have done to avoid this whole situation altogether.

It’s hard not be mad at myself when I hear things like that. I mean, how could I not be? I’m in such a good place- I’m happier and healthier than I’ve ever been. And to have all the years of my eating disorder and exercise obsession coming back to haunt me six months into recovery…well, it just wasn’t the news I wanted. Luckily, there’s ways to reverse some of the bone loss. Women typically build bone until age 30, although it slows down after your teens and early 20s. It’s so, so important to eat enough to give my body enough  energy to rebuild bone and of course, there’s foods that contain some of the nutrients needed to restart that bone growth. I’m seeing a specialist and am committed to doing everything in my power to reverse what I can. And even though there is a chance it will never be reversed, I’ve decided that the best strategy is to pick myself up from here and keep going; there is no point on reflecting what I could have done differently. It is what it is. My only option is to keep going and do everything I can to help myself.

I share all this for a few reasons. First, for awareness. It’s easy to live in your eating disorder and think that you’re not “sick enough” to have any of the long term side effects. I certainly felt that way and from what I’ve heard from other people in recovery, feeling “not sick enough” is a pretty common trend. But here’s the thing: “not sick enough” doesn’t exist. If you’re engaging in eating disorder behaviors, then you are sick enough. End of story. There’s the very wrong perception that only skeletal woman can have side effects like that and it’s simply not true. I was underweight but not wildly during my eating disorder days. I never felt like I was really “anorexic” (and I denied it vehemently when my therapist and doctor called it anorexia). I never felt like I was that sick. And yet- the proof is all around me. I did serious damage to my body during that time without ever thinking it would happen to me.

Second, to say to anyone with an eating disorder or anyone engaging in behaviors: SEEK HELP. It’s so dangerous. You are sick enough and you are worthy of help. And if you’re in recovery or even recovered: see a doctor and make sure that you’re healthy! Ask questions. I almost didn’t even ask for a bone density scan; I figured that the doctor would order one if he was concerned. But because I have a nutrition background and knew the risks, I asked for one and even though I didn’t get the results I wanted, I’m glad I asked. Everyone deserves help.

This post isn’t meant to discourage anyone but to shout out into my tiny corner of the universe about how IMPORTANT it is to seek recovery. Anyone with disordered eating deserves a healthy relationship with food and a healthy, fully-functioning body. And everyone, no matter who you are or what you’re history, deserves a healthy and happy life. Seeking help, no matter what for, can only help us achieve that goal.

I’m so thankful for the recovery community that has encouraged me and reassured me during the last few weeks. If you’re not already following my Instagram, check it out HERE and sign up for my email list on the sidebar! You’ll only ever get emails when I post new things. And if you’re in recovery or seeking body positivity or just a good conversation about life, I am available always at [email protected]  Enjoy the upcoming week all!

Being alone vs being lonely (aka how to be your own best friend)

There is a profound difference between being alone and being lonely, between solitude and loneliness. As many of you probably know or read by now, I just moved into my first big-girl, all-mine apartment. It’s my first time ever living completely on my own, without anyone to share my space with. I’m not going to lie to you guys- I’m in love with my apartment. I love how cozy it is, I love the big windows and natural light and the back door with my own little space outside. I love that I can put my stuff wherever I want, I love that I can eat whatever I want for dinner, I love that I can leave my dishes in the sink for the night if I want to.

I’m basically on a honeymoon with myself.

Being alone is wonderful. Over the past few years, I’ve become far more introverted than I was in my teens. I like nights to myself. I would prefer wine and Netflix to a bar any night. I would rather have dinner with a couple close friends than go to a party. I don’t really enjoy getting dressed up to go out and I would much rather be in sweatpants (or more accurately, no pants).

But being lonely is dreadful. My eating disorder days were filled with loneliness. Loneliness that had nothing to do with how many people were in my life or how many people loved and supported me. My loneliness had nothing to do with being alone. In fact, most of my loneliest days were days when I was living with friends, roommates, family. As cliche as it is, some of my loneliest moments were in crowded spaces.

My loneliness came from somewhere much deeper and much more profound. The kind of loneliness that makes your heart hurt. The kind that’s a combination of nostalgia, sadness and something else that I’ve never quite been able to put my finger on. I’ve felt it all throughout my life; I remember being sick when I was younger and having that feeling growing in the pit of my stomach. That kind of loneliness didn’t visit me much during my childhood or my teenage years for that matter, but it came back full force when I was in college. Part of it had to do with homesickness, I am sure. But a much bigger part had to do with the fact that I felt like there was a hole I couldn’t fill. I felt unfulfilled, dejected and sad. For all the friends I had, I still had a empty space inside me that I could not fill. It took me several years and many therapy sessions before I realized that space can’t be filled by anyone except me. I’ve worked very hard to fill this space and I’ve done a good job, but that kind of loneliness is still so fresh to me. The feeling that it left with me lingers around like smoke after a bonfire. It’s hard for me to fear it coming back.

BUT. Since I started recovery, I can see that space filling back up. I’ve been working on doing things I’m passionate about and things I enjoy doing. I’ve been spending time with my friends and family, going for spontaneous ice cream dates, filling my days with books and writing and relaxing. I’ve began enjoying food again, savoring meals with the people I love. For goodness sake, I ate a THREE COURSE MEAL on my birthday last week after an afternoon snack of Ben & Jerry’s, what? Recovery Meghan is AWESOME and so much happier and more fulfilled than pre-recovery Meghan.

Recovery me is learning to love herself, which fills that hole inside me more than anything. I’m learning to be my own best friend. Not because I don’t have wonderful, beautiful best friends/soul sisters/actual sister (because I do) but because I’ve relied on people for my sense of contentment for far too long. I find my happiness in making other people happy, which is not inherently a bad trait. But as I’ve been forced to learn in my life, putting people’s needs before your own does not lead to long-term happiness or gratification. So I’m taking awhile to see what makes me happy, what I like, why I do what I do and think what I think and to explore what I really want from this big, grand, wonderful life.

Living by myself for awhile is my way of being a little bit selfish, which I’ve always had a very hard time doing. It’s my way of taking some much-needed time for myself.  It’s my way of being my own best friend and putting myself first. So I’ve been going on best friend dates with myself- to the coffee shop, to the beach, to get ice cream. I’ve been learning how to keep myself company in a way that feels kind and genuine and not like I’m being a total jerk to myself like I used to be. I’m alone, but I’m certainly not lonely. I know I have supportive and beautiful and loving people on my side and I’m grateful for that but I’m also grateful for some time to myself. Here’s to coffee dates, lots of ice cream and no pants ever.

Some best friend dates I’ve had with myself this week. Ice cream the size of my face after my first day of work (coffee kahlua brownie, yes please), some beach time and lots of coffee always.

Questions:
Do you like being alone?
What’s your favorite thing to do by yourself?
What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

23 Years, 23 Things

Today is my 23rd birthday- it’s not a milestone, it’s not a monumental one by any means but I find myself feeling more thankful for this birthday than I did for the last few. My heart over the past few weeks and months have been full, overflowing even. Here’s 23 things I’m grateful for (in no particular order).

  1. All of the wonderful, loving, kind, funny, generous, gracious people in my life. My mom and dad for being my best friends always. My step parents for their support. My sister for being the coolest oldest sister ever. My best friends for being the best people I know and keeping my head above water on days where I’m struggling. My partner for making me laugh while also making sure I feel loved and protected- and his incredible family for graciously welcoming me in over the past four years. I’m thankful for all the people I interact with on a daily basis, who keep me going, keep me laughing, keep me loving.
  2.  RECOVERY. Obviously. The past year has been unreal. I hardly recognize myself anymore. Sometimes when I’m reaching for the ice cream scoop at night or picking up an unexpected IMG_6201snack before work, I allow myself a few minutes to marvel at who I’ve become. Someone who’s unafraid of food. Someone who doesn’t force herself to exercise every day. Someone who can fully embrace life and can live spontaneously, without worrying about what and when she’ll eat, where and when she’ll exercise, if she’ll be “safe”. I’m so proud of that girl.
  3. Clean water. Such a simple, often overlooked thing but I am thankful each and every day that I have access to clean water- for drinking, for showering, for brushing my teeth. It’s such a simple thing but it’s something that so many people live without and something I remind myself to be thankful for daily.
  4. A new, full-time job at the New Hampshire Food Bank where I’ll be doing community outreach (working with SNAP, Summer Meals Program and Cooking Matters) and helping people who are food insecure. I am so excited about this position and feel grateful that this opportunity came up so soon after completing my dietetic internship. My start date is in a week and a half- wish me luck!
  5. A cozy, bright one-bedroom apartment in New Hampshire that is 100% all mine. After my internship year, I decided that I needed some time to myself to continue down this road of self discovery. My plans vacillated between a few different options, including living with my partner, but I realized I wanted (and needed) some time to myself in a place that I wanted to be before committing to that kind of change. Putting myself first was a very new feeling for me and I gotta tell ya, so far it feels good! I’m moving in Monday and I can’t wait to make it all my own.
  6. The opportunity to work with my big sister this summer! During the in between months going from my internship to my job, I’ve been working in a cute little shop that my sister manages. This marks the most time I’ve spent with her since before she left for college (in 2007) and it’s been so nice to spend time with her, her husband and her puppies. I’m so grateful for this time and so sad about not being able to see her everyday or hang out at her house or hunt for Pokemon together after work (she got me hooked guys). She’s so cool and conducts herself with a grace and style that I just do not have. I’m so lucky to have her. Also- she crafts some very cool things and has a cute little Etsy shop. My favorite are her Payne Killers which are aromatherapy scented pillows that are wonderful for recovery aches and pains. If you want to see her stuff, check out her site HERE.
  7. The democratic system. I, like many others, have been glued to my TV each night this week watching the Democratic National Convention and last week, I watched bits and pieces of the
    RNC. I have unabashedly been a Bernie fan from the beginning- well, that’s not true. I was a Hillary fan right out of the gate. But once Bernie came on the scene, he had my political heart. I have never seen a candidate that I agree so strongly with, nor have I ever seen such a genuine, down-to-earth, bullshit-calling  candidate (although it’s worth mentioning, I have only become wildly interested in politics over the last few years). I was blessed to be in New Hampshire during the political season- and had the opportunity to see Bernie (three times, not that I’m bragging)and 14 of the 16 Republican candidates. That being said, I was immensely proud and happy for our country to finally nominate a woman (a progressive, experienced, passionate, smart woman at that) for a major party presidential candidate. Even though I cried when Bernie gave his speech this week, I got chills watching Hillary accept the official nomination last night….but I’m still not taking this bumper sticker off my car.
  8. My two months home in between my internship and moving out for real. It’s been two months of family, good friends, relaxation, stress (the good kind), gin cocktails, eating dinner outside on summer nights, puppies (not mine, unfortunately), journaling and lots and lots of ice cream.
  9. A warm bed- in fact, more than one. So many people go to bed every night without their own bed or without a bed at all. There are so many families, living in the US and elsewhere, who live with no privacy and no space to call their own. For the last 23 years, I have always had my own room. After my parent’s got divorced, I had two beds all to myself. I still do. Without my own space, I wouldn’t be able to relax and read or concentrate on my writing or be able to watch as many episodes of Parks and Rec as I wanted to late into the night.
  10. EARTH. I got a love of nature from my parents and it runs deep. I love everything about the Earth- the stars, the sky, the trees, the grass, the dirt, the creatures. During my internship, I would say a little prayer out loud to myself on my way to work- a habit I’ve gotten out of now, but really need to get back into for my own peace of mind. The first thing I always gave thanks for was the Earth and all the things it has brought to my life. Part of the reason I’m moving to NH is for the hiking, the way everything is spaced out, the trees, the trails, the lakes. All that good Earth hiding away up there.
  11. Coffee. Coffee, coffee, coffee. Coffee with milk, coffee with cream. Coffee ice cream. Coffee gives me life. Note: I used to NEVER let myself have cream in my coffee but man sometimes some cream in your coffee really hits the spot.
  12. Wine. Wine, wine, wine. White wine, red wine, or a nice rose (my personal favorite). Cheap wine, expensive wine. Wine makes my already wonderful life just a tad better. Note: I used to avoid drinking alcohol to avoid the extra calories but now I am unashamed to have a glass of wine at the end of the day. Not that I’m some alcohol fiend but still, a good glass of wine every once in a while is quite lovely.
  13. My health and my access to healthcare. Ironically, my body had less aches and pains than it did last birthday when I was beating it into the ground. Eventually, obsessive exercise will catch up with you, as it did with me which has resulted in all sorts of knee, hip and foot pain. However, even though I’m achy, my body is recovering from all the hell I put it through over the past 7 years and I’m thankful for that. I’m also thankful for my access to healthcare (not something everyone has, unfortunately) and the doctors who are and have treated me.
  14. Similarly, THERAPY. I love therapy. I think everyone should go to therapy (if it is available for them). I left my therapist in May when I left New Hampshire but am hoping to see her again soon. Even if I feel like I’m doing much (much) better than I was in the days I was seeing her, there’s still little pieces of things that come up where therapy really makes a difference. Seriously, go to therapy. It’s the best.
  15. I already mentioned him above but- my partner, Charles, is one of the best people in my life. I tend not to talk about him too much on my blog since I don’t think he feels great about being discussed in the big blog world but it’s my birthday and I’ll talk about him if I want to! Charles makes me laugh, he reminds me not to take life so seriously (something that I work on nearly daily). Throughout the last 4 years, he has seen me at my absolute lowest point. He saw the raw, real, miserable part of me that I tried to disguise to most other people in my life. And he saw me through it and loves me just the same. Our relationship has gotten stronger and simpler over the past few months and I’m so thankful for that.
  16. I have never, not ever, had to worry about where my next meal is coming from. Food and I have a complicated relationship but food insecurity has never been a part of my story. I’m thrilled to have accepted a job that will help people get access to food.
  17. My uncle’s healing and recovery! For almost 2 and half months now, my uncle has been in the hospital after a whole bunch of complicated, scary health problems. I am so happy that he is finally getting better and that I’ve been able to visit him twice now and see him on the upswing. Even though it’s been a long process, it’s so great to see him getting back to his old self.
  18. Books. Obviously. All books- fiction, juicy beach reads, memoirs, biographies. I’m particularly thankful for books by funny women like Amy Poelher, Tina Fey and Chelsea Handler (books I also re-read during moves to alleviate stress). There’s nothing I like better than curling up on a couch and getting sucked into a new book. It’s my favorite way to travel.
  19. The recovery community online! Honestly, I’m not sure I would have gotten this far without the community I’ve discovered. As I’ve mentioned before, I relied (rely) on the Minnie Maud method for recovery and at first, it took a lot of support and reliance on the people who were using/have used MM to recover. I’m now part of many different recovery/body positive forums that I use for inspiration, support and compassionate understanding. If you’re looking for extra support or want to hear more about things like this, please feel free to comment or email me at [email protected]!
  20. I’m equally thankful for the recovery and body positive accounts that I follow and connect with on Instagram. Some of my favorites include- @bodyposipanda, @nourishandeat, @thefuckitdiet,@thelifeofandie, @goofy_ginger and @dothehotpants- all of whom I’ve connected with in some way or another and have immense respect and gratitude for. Seriously, if you’re looking for badass, uplifting and refreshing badass women, there you have it. There are lots of other accounts that keep me motivated and show me love and support on the daily. If you’re not already following me, check it out here!
  21. The ability to be present for my own life. Since I started recovery, I realized how many times I was absent to my own life and that makes me so sad to realize. I choose not to feel sorry or sad for myself, and instead choose to show up everyday to my own life.
  22. The people who read this blog! When I first started blogging, I was a bit (a lot) uncomfortable with both the process and myself in general. I had always narrated my life in my head, like I was writing a novel or magazine article, so starting a blog was natural in some ways but also took a leap of faith. I was nervous to put myself out there but have been met with warmth and love and support, all of which I cannot thank you all for enough.
  23. This past year of unequivocal self-discovery. I’ve learned more about myself this year than I have in my whole life. It’s so empowering and makes me a more confident and happier person each and everyday. I’m so incredibly, wonderfully grateful for all I’ve learned about myself and all the ways in which I’ve learned to love myself.

I have so much goodness in my life. Honestly, I feel guilty sometimes for all that I have. There are so many people who have less. It was a full and grateful heart that I say thank you to all of you who keep up with my blog and thank you for reading this today. Happy weekend my friends!

Fear Foods in Eating Disorder Recovery

Today we’re going to talk about FEAR FOODS.

Fear foods. I can almost guarantee that anyone with a history of disordered eating has experience with fear foods. Fear foods are the foods that, during restriction, you may avoid avoid with every fiber of your being. If you’re a binge eater or in a binge/purge cycle, these may be foods that have caused you to binge in the past.  You may think these foods are going to derail your health. You may think these foods are instantly going to add 10 pounds to your body. You may think these foods are going to cause an unavoidable, never-ending binge. You may think these foods are going to totally unravel your life and ruin your chance for happiness

Guess what?

They’re not.

Food fears differ for everyone- for some people, it can be pizza. For some people, it can be ice cream or bananas or potatoes or candy bars or milkshakes or pasta or pretty much any food out there. For the years I restricted my eating, my fear food list was long and extensive. I avoided a lot- almost all desserts, pasta, packaged foods, pastries, juice, pizza. I could go on and on.

When I started recovery, I made a list of all these foods and went about crossing them off one by one. My first big fear food win was ordering banana stuffed french toast when I went out to breakfast with my partner. I was anxious, of course, but having someone who loved me there as a source of support was immensely helpful. A few weeks after that, him and I went out for a mid-afternoon snack of McDonald’s fries and vanilla milkshake. Up until that point, I simply could not have imagined a time in my life where I could snack on fries and a milkshake. A “snack” like that would have caused me to restrict for days. It would have immediately caused a surge of guilt and shame that would have swirled around and consumed me like flames in a fire. In the beginning of recovery, these wins took a lot of effort, a lot of strength and took up a lot of mental space.

A few weeks ago, my boss (conveniently my sister) brought in donuts for a staff meeting at work. Guess what? I ate one and thought so little of it, that it didn’t occur to me that I had eaten a fear food until later in the day. I was on a walk on my favorite trail when it occurred to me and I nearly laughed with joy when I realized that if that happened a year before, I would have been running on that same trail to “work off” the donut I had eaten earlier in the day. In fact, it was such a non-event that I didn’t even stop to take a picture like I normally do when I have an ED win. It was simply not a big deal.

Last week, my sister and I made a plan to go shopping. She asked me if I wanted to grab lunch before. A year ago, I would have made up every excuse so I wouldn’t have to eat out. I used to dread eating out. I used to despise lunch and think that only certain foods could be eaten at certain times of the day. But that is also immensely false. There is no reason to fear eating at certain times. There is no right or wrong time to eat.

My point here is this: fear foods exist for most people with disordered eating or lifelong dieters or binge eaters  or anyone who has ever been on a diet. There’s usually some foods that are labeled “bad” or “off-limits”. But the truth is that no foods are bad. No foods are good. All foods have nutrients in them- the amounts and the types vary but every food you eat offers your body something. And your body needs different nutrients all the time- and sometimes it needs food for the soul, not just for the physiological need of keeping your body alive.

No foods should be feared. No foods should be labeled “good” or “bad”. All foods are food and that’s that. All foods can be eaten at all times. All foods can be eaten without compensating with restriction or exercise. All foods can be eaten without compromising your health or your idea of health. I eat (full-fat, full-sugar) ice cream nearly every night and I am arguably the healthiest I have ever been in my life. I ordered pizza at dinner the other night just because I felt like it- it was delicious, satisfying and in that moment, the healthy decision for me.

 

The bottom line is that all foods fit. There will be times in your life you crave the foods that are considered “healthy”- fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc etc. There will be times in your life that you crave the foods that are considered “unhealthy”- ice cream, chips, sugary cereals. And that’s okay. That’s life. And guess what? Your body knows what you need even if your mind disagrees.

In fact, just this morning, I was perusing Whole Foods before work. I was still a little hungry after my breakfast and discovered chocolate chip hazelnut biscotti in the bakery section. Immediately, I thought that I couldn’t have that so early in the day. I walked around trying to find something else that would fill me up but be “healthier”, my ED voice momentarily taking over before I realized that there was nothing else I really wanted. I marched myself back over to the bakery, grabbed a biscotti and ate in my car with my coffee before work. And guess what? It was great- there was no guilt, there was no compensation, there was no nothing except for delicious biscotti goodness. I tell this story for two reasons: 1) your body knows what you need (really it does) and 2) you may still struggle with fear foods long after you start recovery. I’ve been in recovery for almost 6 months and my ED voice still pops her head in every now and then to tell me to restrict or to choose something “healthier” And that will happen at some point to most people in recovery. No one chooses to recover and is immediately better. That’s just not the way it works. But conquering fear foods is an essential part of recovery and it is something that is worth fighting for.  I challenge each and every one of you to eat something that scares you, something that makes you uncomfortable, something that you may not “allow” yourself to eat. If you feel so inclined, write about it in the comments below- I want to hear!

Wishing you all a happy week ahead!

Questions:
Do you have any fear foods?
What helps you to conquer fear foods?
Any plans (good or bad) for the week?

July Favorites: Link Love

Hello and happy July to all! Can you believe that it is officially halfway through the year already?! I sure can’t. July is one of my favorite months because it’s warm but also because it’s birthday month, baby! Hopefully by then,

Before I get into my favorite reads of the month, I’m going to take a minute to shameless promote something I wrote this week. For those of you who listen to the Recovery Warriors podcast (and you should), you know that every month there is a different challenge to strength your recovery muscles. This month, the challenge was to find and create 4 different recipes throughout the month. I participated in this challenge, as I do every month, and wrote about my experience HERE. Plus if you read it, you’ll get a recipe to a delicious spaghetti squash bake!

Enjoy the reads everyone and let me know what you think!

What does healthy even mean?
THIS is awesome. This is so good guys. Seriously. Written by another RD and I swear, I want to print it out to keep in my office some day because it is so real. If you read any of these, read this one!

This Comic Strip on Privilege will Humble You
I see this circulating around this internet quite a bit but it’s so, so, so important. Privilege exists whether people want to acknowledge it or not- it’s not good or bad but it is real and people acting like it doesn’t exist keeps us stuck in a dangerous place.

Signs You’re a Highly Sensitive Person
This article GETS me. This is me 100%. I used to think that being overly sensitive was a bad thing and some people certainly think of it as a weakness, but I’ve definitely learned to embrace mine.

The Reason Your Intuitive Eating Won’t Work
I think intuitive eating is great. But it’s very easy to convince yourself your “intuitively eating” when you’re really restricting your eating. It takes a long time before you can get to truly intuitive eating. Also, I really love Caroline Dooner so I’m on top of any opportunity to share her work.

The not-so-secret truth about emotional eating
Everyone emotional eats. You feel emotions every minute of the day. You also have to eat multiple times a day. You can’t separate the two. And everyone’s end all emotional eating embargo isn’t helping anyone. Read why it’s really not that bad after all.

Why processed foods aren’t as bad as you think
I love Christy Harrison and I love this article. I’m so over everyone’s endeavors to cut out all “processed foods”. I understand not wanting to eat frozen meals and Chips Ahoy every night (although it’s totally okay to do that), but avoiding all processed foods in our day and age is nearly impossible. Give it a read, particularly if you’ve ever thought that eliminating processed foods is the answer!

HAPPY JULY and happy weekend to you all! Hope you all have a lovely 4th of July!