Honest introspection

If you ask anyone around here, they’d most likely declare me “a tough cookie”. Not your soft, chewy chocolate chip cookie; I’d be the mocha double chocolate, over baked to closely resemble a hockey puck that cracks your front teeth upon first bite. Aaah but then you realize that I’m not supposed to be bitten anyway, so taking the necessary time to come to terms and forgive yourself for mucking things up, we can from here on out become civil with the possibility of a beautiful friendship hanging in the atmosphere. I’m not one to try and blend in or hide away at a gathering, yet neither would I strive to be noticed. I’m perfectly comfortable doing my own thing and enjoying myself. I wouldn’t think twice to state my mind, often with mildly unfortunate consequences and to the embarrassment of others. That said, I like to believe that this “tough chick” hides a whimsically delicate interior – both literally and figuratively; a pondering mind, a deeply emotional soul, an artistic wild streak. And this is just me – without the ED. The me I love being…the me I embrace. I find my level of contemplation slowly and steadily evolving with my own growth. Starting off recovery the train of thoughts available for my brain to snatch at felt stifled and limited, but I’ve felt the progression of my mind broadening and deepening; observing it has brought a sparkle to my eye, a lightness to my heart. There’s always been an intense particular fear that has continually changed, along with myself. As anorexia would have it back then it was baseless, pointless anxieties over… well, food. Somewhere in there – the fear of change. The fear of failure. The fear of being a let-down. So for someone who is brave (the dark – nada, wild animals – nada, alone – nada, in a crowd – nada, on a ride – nada) there was always an inner fear concealed from people. Grateful indeed am I in having these fears dissolved as I’ve healed.

The other day I was taking some quiet morning time, and upon introspecting I encountered a new fear. I am afraid that in the growing noise of the world, I will cease hearing myself. In forming such a trusty bond between mind and body, I am afraid that amidst the probing, yells, and tidal waves of advice my inner voice and intuition will forever be at the risk of drowned into silence. Pressing my palms against the cool rock I was crouching on – the damp dewiness a comforting familiarity – I found consolation in reminiscing on the strong personality I am blessed to have grown into. I need not a guarantee to determine that I will not fall back…because the unbending faith is right there, even if sometimes I have to reach inside for it. There is so much noise I swear, but we’ve got to look within and use that momentum to see the world as it is out there. In that way we are able to make the best choices for ourselves. Always.

 

 

What cookie are you?

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It’s time to tell the tale

I honestly cannot comprehend how I’ve managed to basically elude delving into something that was is such a major part of me. Even as insinuated here, it was not possible to simply brush under the mat and lose all sense of memory over. You may be harbouring great passion for a specific hobby yourself – a pastime which began festering from the little imp years already. My love for sketching waned with passing seasons…ditto on the cycling.. the excitement over crafts dissolved. But horse riding is in my blood.

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I remember not a time in my life without horses, and there was never a question about living without riding. Then life happened. Or rather, my eating disorder did. I quit cold turkey on that fateful day in 2013 when my long-time instructor passed away… it was more to it than that sufficiently painful reason though. I’ll admit the shocked response and probing on “why” irked me beyond words. I grew frustrated that those who were acquainted with me could not see me as anyone beyond the “horse-crazy” girl.. and then to contradict those precise thoughts – I imagined them to assume I had lost all love for the sport which couldn’t be further from the huge knot of emotions building in my chest. I was doing the right thing, that much I knew; mentally and physically I had SO much healing to do. And other than random deep cravings for the pure sensation of being on horseback I can’t say I really missed it on the daily. Given the chance to recover, I was dulled out with heavy exhaustion making the prospect of vigorous activity utterly daunting.

Fast forward a little more than a year.. the return of volumes of energy, a restless spirit, a craving for the bond shared with my horse. At the time I struggled to place my finger on that something which my soul yearned for; my horse H was in the process of finding new owners. I think the reason I refrained attempting to hold onto him was because I understood the unfairness in doing so in terms of costly pressure on the household. Always need to do the right thing of course! <-(note the subtle tone of humourless sarcasm). H was away on his third(!!) try-out – looking better than ever before and I was experiencing conflicting emotions. In a desperate search for fulfilment I took up classes, of which I will not venture into the details. Four days in and I was hit with intense claustrophobia and a fear to commit. Sounds dramatic? Well I was never one to deny a touch of drama queen-dom 😉 . You see I momentarily started heading down the wrong road for me at this point… I need not more on my  load – I’ve entered a chapter where my soul craves to be lightened and fed simultaneously. I thrive on a feeling of freedom and I craved so strongly to have an escape to “zone out” into nature. H returned home yet again, unable to snag a buyer… and to me, it was practically down in writing. Time to ride! You know what takes guts?Admitting to yourself and those impacted that you’re hitting dead brakes and making a sudden U turn. image source

The extensive break from the saddle was the best thing that could have occurred.

I’ve come back with a changed philosophy in how I am approaching riding this time around. Previously a goal of schooling my horse only fed my destructive perfectionist side, coupled with deteriorating levels of strength on my side and we’ve got me digging my own grave. I know I’m strong enough from a physical perspective should I want to venture into that spectrum, but most importantly I can disclose that is not what I want. And having been back in the saddle for a few weeks now it warms my heart to confirm my buddy H is on the same page; we’re happiest ambling along in the forest without expectations on either part 🙂 . What I’m getting at is that I didn’t realize the significant struggle in can be in finding your feet breaking free from anorexia. As I my personality returned, I assumed I as settled. Alas it was like the journey had only begun with the constant hovering and experimenting. It’s inevitable that somewhere along the line you will let someone down or disappoint them… but we got to keep a very considerable factor in mind…

 

 

 

 

Second chances

 

I will not pretend to apologise for being completely MIA; I know and trust you to be joyful on my behalf that this girl has been living. And even more importantly: connecting with loved ones…I didn’t realise how much I’ve missed socializing – trapped into the darkness of my depressive head, I couldn’t see past my own unhapppiness. I don’t intend to imply that recovery is some fairytale for me, but I am undeniably grateful that the process proves to just get better and better after getting in touch with myself and truly accepting my [discovered] quirks.

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I embrace and accept the fact that I am not your typical girl on many levels; exotic if you will 😉 .

Gone are the battles of trying to understand the swirling emotions hitting me all at once after being suppressed and held in through the years. Imagine, a naturally boldly expressive human squashing in their vibrant personailty!? Such an unsuitable and sad state to be in. What I find myself marvelling about repeatedly these days? The different manner in which I have managed to percieve a single person due to my particular mindset at the time. I am utterly fascinated and ecstatic to be given a second chance without grudges. Yessss I am blessed with some beautiful souls in my life. Just last year I ranted about my struggle at tolerating a guest(family no less) who was down for an extended stay. My parting words to her last year was “do not come back here”. I know, horrible! Today I admire the disregard -once a subject of annoyance- toward my past insensitive harshness and we’re best of comrades. When she leaves tomorrow – there will be tears. Pleasantly unusual coming from someone who feared getting attached and was above beyond missing anyone.

Being open and honest, I am in my element most when surrounded by genuine personalities – not putting up a facade or sporting a tight fake smile while giving you the pitiful eye. Even if we happen to disagree on anything and everything; their honesty and authentic manner makes me feel comfortable and happy to be around them.

 

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^LOVE when that chemical reaction takes place, however I am learning that the significant, most meaningful challenge at this point in time for me is accepting my misjudgement of characters previously and attempting to gain a second (or third!) chance in establishing a good grounding with the minds of those who now happen to intrigue, fulfil and indulge me in my ways.

 

Have you dealt with unfairly summing up a personality and getting off on the wrong foot?

 

I’ve found…me.

Remember the girl who started this blog; her biggest worry was losing control of her life by gaining an unknown number of weight. She feared missing the “comfortable” feeling of having her hip and shoulder bones protrude grotesquely. She bemoaned the prospect of feeling and experiencing a flow of emotions in contrast to being numb and tuned out to the world. And when the beginnings of a nourished brain prompted her to confront the root of her depressions, she was dangerously close -repeatedly- on turning back to that twistedly safe nothingness.  Would it be all that surprising when I genuinely admit…I barely know her – if at all!?

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With reaching a healthy weight, a free mindset and the return of Aunt Suzy; I still struggled with knowing and understanding myself. I had a constant sensation of nurturing a gaping hole in my heart, a restlessness not willing to be quieted for any given period and through the busyness of everyday life, I was aware of a probing concern of feeling uncertain in my actual personality. Over time however my traits and quirks were surfacing..the real me, in all her loud annoying glory. I didn’t even realize the personality establishment taking place, until it unexpectedly fell into place so to speak on few day’s of vacation as off 2 weeks back. Or more appropriately explained: I became aware of it then; a strange place, interacting with others, a change of routine…it dawned on me how comfortable I am with who I am. I accept and love my quirks and demeanour, whether they serve in drawing others to me or rubbing someone up the wrong way, it all collectively makes me the person I am. And that’s enough.

We don’t need to be anything other than ourselves. Do you enjoy hyperventilating over the tiniest of things? Bouncing around uncontrollably when excited? Incessantly chirpy when content? Own it. Regardless of it irritating your brother or that new human you’re trying to impress…be you!

be youimage source 

WIAW: “Perfectly” Intuitive

“Eating more intuitively has proved greatly liberating for my mind, body and soul. With a memory of continuous planning and precision with meals and food; the taste of freedom fills me with excitement on a regular basis. This rush of sorts, putting me in a sense of elation.  Well what happens when you crash?

I have to commemorate the reason of why I assumed an intuitive approach in the first place. Was it not to further loosen the grip of the eating disorder? To relieve my perfectionist mind of it’s continuous struggle in consuming perfect [in my mind] meals? Surely I cannot expect to hit the nail on the head every single time in consuming the right thing at the right time. There will be slip-ups… I will not always be ” in tune” in the best manner, but this is what intuitive eating is all about. By feeding the anxiety in becoming frustrated and fearful of consuming a food that might not make me feel perfectly comfortable, I am destroying the purpose of learning to eat intuitively. I do not want to move from restriction, only to launch into another form of reigning control over what passes my lips at certain times in the day. I can honestly say I consider barely a food as something to be feared which I regard as an accomplishment… yet the very fact that I dwell on the effect an unfortunate evening of sugar leaves on me – only to entertain the hesitance at ingesting sweets for the days following – is a nudge in the gut to wake up and see the direction I am journeying on to completely break free of all negative -mental- associations with food.   The trials and error all part of the journey in better understanding the way my body works.”

The above rant was the beginning and the end of a draft left hanging about 2 months back. Reading it right now I am pleasantly surprised at the progress I’ve made in eating intuitively since then; all the while losing the image of “perfect”. I thought it would be cool to share and celebrate the good habit I’ve fallen into by listening to my intuition (and my 3rd period!!!) in the past Sunday’s noshings a la Jenn’s famous What I Ate Wednesday party.

wiaw-fall-into-good-habits-button
I love starting the day off with a warm hug [in a mug]…

my hug in a mug, piping hot with a splash of full cream milk

double chocolate coffee, piping hot with a splash of full cream milk.

I am head over heals for the hot new coffee to reach our shores: Beanies. Fighting the overwhelming desire to possess ALL THE FLAVOURS, I grudgingly settled on the Double chocolate (but of course) and Amaretto Almond but once home I soon regretted the latter over the French vanilla which I had debated 5 times over.

Over constant trial and error I finally feel like I’ve reached a sugary sweet spot with eating and meal times; to the point where I have an understanding of my “hungry times” and the foods that work for me for the most part. I know that I’m on an oatmeal groove for now – until I crave something different of which I will unhesitatingly venture into.

breakfast

banana oatmeal topped with cinnamon, applesauce, honey and peanut butter.

If you’ve never prepared your oatmeal by frying the banana first – give it a shot some time. I.am.hooked. Other than playing around with toppings and add-ins depending on my mood that morning… oatmeal makes me happy. Why change it?

I enjoy a strong sense of flexibility in my diet; impromptu dessert runs and coffee shop visits nourishes my soul.

snack- chocolate brownie tart

Shopping fuel: chocolate pecan brownie tart with vanilla soft serve.

Heavenly!

After switching snack and meal times around in a frenzy to accommodate a ridiculously wayward appetite.. I am actually content to be experiencing more of a routine in hunger signals. I know that I need a snack or well…dessert between breakfast and lunch.

A lunch [a late one on that particular day] comprising of a fair amount of veggies leaves me most satisfied and energised..

lunch- tuna salad

tuna salad…thyme & olive oil roasted potatoes and steamed broccoli.

I make a mean tuna salad if you ever want to pitch up for lunch and I’m -as is the norm- too lazy to legitimately cook.                                                 Half a mashed avocado, a few tablespoons of Lime & Black Pepper sachet tuna, 1 chopped up dill pickle, 1 small finely grated carrot and a few diced plum tomatoes. You may want to commit that to memory…and please dunk some roast potatoes in there.

The over-analysing of meals, the extra precautions to ascertain if I am truly hungry, the anxiety of “did I consume enough?” to return my health and periods…it can all stop. I am capable of trusting my body and -most importantly- honouring my hunger and cravings.

snack- apple/dates and PB

Evening snack: dates  chopped apple and peanut butter.

New favourite snack! Bonus points for a crispy, slightly tangy apple…the flavours mingle together like magic. Can you perceive how much of a rebel I am in challenging my braces by the level of pulverising the apple received? Uhm yeah, not.

I can eat what I want, when I want to. And I truly believe that without breaking all ties with restrictive eating by completely going a little loco over more processed food, I would not adore more wholesome foods as much as I do today.

supper- chickpea mushroom curry

Supper: avocado quesadilla, chickpea mushroom curry thingy, steamed spinach. Orange juice.

I’m turning into a right old decent chef if I do say so myself. My downfall is the laziness when it comes to kitchen labours…regardless, this chickpea curry (is it an offense to throw the term “curry” with reckless abandon?!) was delicious. I mean, I had it again the evening after. And I have a feeling I coincidently had something closely resembling on the last WIAW I partook in. The detailed procedure as follows: I sautéed sliced onions and some fresh crushed garlic in coconut oil for abit before tossing in about 3 sliced white mushrooms. Seasoned the mushrooms with some sea salt and black pepper and once cooked, tossed in the drained chickpeas. About an 1/8 of a teaspoon of turmeric stirred through and cooked on low for another minute or so.

Ironically enough, I had to release myself of the notion of attaining the instinct of in intuitive eater in order to develop a good sense of intuition myself. It is rather pointless and a waste of energy to berate ourselves over the effects of enjoying an extra serving of dessert or the likes. Our body will deal with it sufficiently, provided we continue to treat it well. Move, rest, eat as we receive the signals when we’ve reached a place of balance.  That’s all folks!

 

What is your view on eating intuitively?

Current favourite dessert?

Cooked or raw veg -predominantly- ?

Thinking Out Loud #31

A headache hasn’t visited my head for ages, so much so – I’d forgotten what a pain it is. I’m taking the recent plaguing of one as a cue to release some of the mental baggage by joining in on the stream of randomness brought to you by Amanda. Thinking-Out-Loud

1. Thank goodness for a mid-week holiday is all I can say! Not that I excused myself from the office – having a good amount of catching up to play – but just the relief of a day without any calls and queries coming my way is a much-needed chance to restore my sanity after an absolutely shaky start to the week. When Tuesday dawned I was just about ready for the week to wrap up and felt in NEED of a 14 day weekend.what a week!image source

  2. I am traumatized people. When it came to work-related issues I’ve always had a sensible 90 year old brain on me…a few minutes of my naïve 19 year self surfacing was sufficient to destroy me. How else do I explain how in the world I’ve been *almost* completely scammed over the phone by some Windows technician fake? I don’t understand; me who trusts very few, sceptical of most, too occupied and “wise” to stumble into a trap. Or maybe that was the old me? Argh I just want to keel over and die when I think about it. What, you think that’s a touch too dramatic? Well, the bloody rouge managed to possess my precious laptop for a good while, because I was too gullible and impulsive. The worst part of it is the impact it had on me: mentally assaulted is not underplaying the way I feel.

Sylvester- don't mess with meimage source

 3. That is the distressing element though; I cannot get back at him who cruelly took advantage of my susceptibility. I am frustrated for letting up my guard after approaching the call with wary rudeness, knowing full well the danger of scams in business and I intended to deter the varmin hastily. But after coaxed by a few key words that impacted me as the “real deal”…argh moving on…

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    4. Oatmeal cooking methods are getting fancier around these parts. While Dad has been applauding the simplicity of instant oats, I am utterly adoring a key factor in this recipe at Oh She Glows. The procedure of cooking the banana for a bit in coconut oil before tossing in the liquid and oats is sensational. Fancier still, I went with a caramel-ly take on things the morning after by adding 5 small chopped dates along with the banana and allowing it to get a little melty prior to pouring in 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup rolled oats and a generous pinch of salt,, then leaving it to cook on low.

topped with cinnamon, chunky applesauce and peanut butter.

topped with cinnamon, chunky applesauce and peanut butter.

There is a little mindless game I amuse myself in when cooking up my oatmeal. I’ll fill the 1 cup at the sink -to the brim- and proceed to slither to the stove with exceptional steadiness in order not to spill a drop. I’ve developed into quite a veteran at the sport 😀 .

5. I just cannot take to cooking oatmeal in milk. I’ve tried again recently, curiosity compelling me to since I failed to clearly recall the last time I’d rolled with milk…  and while I’m all for the creaminess – the milk seems to mask the true earthy flavour of the oats. Not a fan. What I am a fan of is repairing my relationship with dried fruit (well, fruit in general) as per the bag of dates in my possession. Since it seems likely I won’t be getting up an entire post dedicated to it [which was the original plan]…you’re probably assuming that it was an ED fear to hesitate over dried fruit. Expected, but that is not the case. Having instilled in myself an outlandish phobia of fats, and consuming only veggies and fruits while harbouring a dominant sweet tooth meant that more often than not my entire supper consisted of a controlled portion of dried fruit or a huge bowl of sliced watermelon. Not surprising then that for the most part I am not in inclined to fruits; not because I don’t enjoy it, but there is a distinctive negative stigma surrounding it in my mind. Fruit = safe food.

6. Now that I’ve been for a good long while averted from fruit simply due to not craving it, I aim to start including more variety of dried/fresh fruit in my snacks…to try it out and see if I in fact enjoy it. I need to allow myself to experiment with eating all fruits once again without shunning them as part of the “ED history” and always choosing a more dessert-ish option over fruit without even giving myself a chance.

dates and a cappuccino

dates and a cappuccino (as inspired by our host!)

Jee willikers, do these dates not appear like cockroaches in this photo *shudder* !? I’ve been called out countless times -by photographically wise comrades- the error that is leaving the spoon in the shot. And yet, I keep forgetting – I cannot drink my coffee or hot chocolate without a spoon in!

7. This mental heaviness that has clutched onto me doesn’t seem to be have any plans in deserting, which means some action is required. It’s like… brain fog. No not brain fudge, brain fog. Very different, best not to confuse the two. Bright colours and soft materials prove to have a gently positive effect so that’s happening… picture083The polkadots instantly bring someone dear to mind 🙂 . Oh and fresh air! All the fresh air please…which I’m off to inhale right now before settling down to a big bowl of chocolate peanut butter oatmeal.     Any tips in getting through mental trauma? Perhaps I am behaving dramatically, but then I truly feel slightly destroyed. Share some thought with me! That would serve to delight me…

Greater victories

A day in terms of hecticified busy-ness can be allocated in one of two standard categories: 1) nonstop bustling, hopping from one task to another. 2) occupied with slow-moving chores that primarily consist of waiting. <-my personal pet hate depending on the specific surroundings. Yesterday was basically that – waiting, oh.my.goose so much waiting. On returning home in the evening I felt slightly overwhelmed; the day was drawing to a close, yet I had barely begun. In a ravenous state with a million and one things looming like a rock over my head, about to crash and splatter my brains (and some major PMS cravings)… I needed coffee. And [leftover] cheesecake. For a very late lunch. As I settled down, allowing the mix of decadent creaminess and sugar to help in regaining a sense of calm and focus, I realized something epic. Food -of any kind or form- is no longer a challenge. Coming home after an extensive period of sitting on my behind without any “activity” and collapsing with dessert because I want it, is not a feat in my eyes anymore. It’s my normal. I’ll crave my veggies soon enough don’t you worry. That’s not to say I am fooling myself in trying to believe that skipping lunch and ODing on dessert is sensible or healthy… it is enjoyable now and again I’ll give it that much. And I am not writing off the fact that for any human overcoming fear foods there isn’t reason to rejoice and jive with delight!

It’s just weirdly fantabulous to know that I don’t have a single fear food. Wait, what!? Yeah really. discovering quoteimage source

Whereas not too long ago there were occasions allocated to greasy, fried foods…and of course it had to be documented and announced because I “challenged” the fear of oils and unknown calories and blah, blah. Now I would only feel inclined to make special mention of a meal or dessert in order to sing it’s praises, or give my critical review – respectively. Like the prawn wrap and chips about a week back…

prawn wraps/chips

Bugger that was glorious.

Food in itself is not an achievement for me any longer… it’s just food. A magnificent part of life, but not one to be battling with and “winning” by cutting out this and will-powering on that.

Oh and the waiting? That concluded to a mini victory toward something huge -hopefully- in the not too far away future 🙂 .