To the girl…

To the girl that thinks life will never get better during an Eating Disorder: It can and it will. You have to choose recovery and make changes. There is no one way fits all. Everyones journey and recovery process is different. What works for one person might not work for you. Don’t be so hard on yourself and trust the process.

To the girl that thinks being skinny will make you happy: Think again. When I was at my skinniest I was also my unhappiest. Living a life thinking that you have to be skinny is not a happy one. There is no room for spontaneous ice cream trips or vacations. Trying to control the way your body looks and every piece of food you consume is a sure way to live a life that is mentally, physically, and emotionally draining.

To the girl that thinks having the perfect body will give you love and true friendships: False! People love you for who you are. If people judge you based on your looks those are not the people you want to be friends with. People are attracted to others who are full of life and radiate positivity. When I had the “prefect body” I was the loneliest. Once I started recovery I was able to rekindle relationships with people who I thought I had lost. I also started making new friends and branching out.

To the girl that is afraid to stop counting calories: Letting little numbers control your life is no way to live. There is so much more to life than the amount of calories in you froyo cup. You need calories to live, to have your organs function properly, and to breath! When you deprive yourself from these little pieces of magical energy your body takes a toll. You lose hair, your menstrual cycle, muscle, life, and not to mention friends. If calorie counting holds you back from social situations then there is a problem. Challenge yourself slowly. Try not tracking one meal or adding in a little bit of something more to a meal. Then go start with one day, one week, one month, etc.

To the girl that is afraid to stop running everyday of the week: If you are running everyday because its ED driven it will not give you your dream life or body. It will slowly break you mentally, physically, and emotionally. Over exercising and under eating do NOT go well together. I was out with an injury for over one and a half years due to this. Please do not do this to yourself. You do not need to do this. When you exercise do it because you enjoy it. Not because you feel like you have to.

To the girl that is afraid to go to to eat: Do it! I dare you! Once you do it enough you will realize that there is nothing to fear. That pizza will not make you gain 5 pounds. Eating out with friends late at night will not pack on pounds either. When I first let myself go out to eat and actually enjoy myself it felt so freeing. I also felt that I was not really in control, but that is part of the process. You have to learn to actually listen to your body again and what it is craving. After a long period of restriction this will happen to your body because it is craving the things it did not get for so long.

To the girl that thinks recovery is not worth it: Do you want a life full of adventures, fun, love, and happiness? Yes? Then recovery is worth it! Are you tired of living a life based on exercise, food, and obsession? Do you want to have kids and a family someday? Yes? Then it is worth it! There are so many reasons why recovery is worth it. Think about your dream life…is ED a part of that, probably not. Life is for living not for restriction.

I hope this helps some of you! As always, I am here for you if you have any questions. Keep going strong loves!

-Hayls

Feeling out of control

Happy Tuesday! I have another blog post for you guys. I hope you enjoy it!

As I have gone through recovery there have been many ups and downs. I have finally dropped ED rules and have allowed myself to eat and do things I would not allow back in my ED. For example, when I was deep in my ED I would have rules as to when I would allow myself to eat. Also, I had a ton of “fear foods” that I would not eat. Now that I am breaking these rules there is some struggles that I find myself dealing with. When I eat foods I have not in a while that I have been craving so long I tend to eat a lot and feel almost out of control. It feels so good to finally be able to eat the foods I have wanted for so long, but it does not feel good to have a feeling of out of control. But maybe it is not actually a feeling of out control, but the way my body needs to recover. Sometimes it is perfectly fine to eat over fullness. It is okay to over eat. It is a part of living and being human.

After talking with one of my best friends, my mind is a little bit more at ease. We discussed that this is a part of recovery, which, I agree with. I have to keep going in order for things to move forward. I wont let this scare me into restrictive behaviors again. I fully believe that things will balance out. For example, this weekend my boy friends and I went out to lunch before we went to see The Choice. On the table there was a card with their seasonal specials. There was this amazing and yummy looking salad on it. All of a sudden I was craving a salad.

salad
Warm Kale Salad: black kale, baby potatoes, chicken, cranberries, almonds, and a brown butter vinaigrette!

The past few months when I have gone out to eat I have usually gotten something not so “healthy”. I love carbs so I usually go for something like that. But I think this is just an example of how things are slowly balancing out. I then proceeded to get a big yummy bowl of ice cream after this. That is freedom right there. I did not plan on having the ice cream or plan my day of eating around it. Before the movie we had time to kill so we went to get ice cream. Being spontaneous with my food choices and experiences is something I am loving and working on. It makes life so much more exciting.

ice ceram

Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream-So good!

Have you ever dealt with the feeling of out of control after restrictive eating?

Have you seen The Choice yet?

 

Have a great day!

❤ Hayls

What really is happiness?

“You look so great”.

‘Your willpower is amazing”.

“I want to look like you”.

“What do you do and eat?”

 

These were some of the questions and comments I received when I was in the depths of my eating disorder. Girls that I had never talked to ever started coming to me for health and fitness advice. Boys started noticing me and talking to me. I was finally receiving attention and compliments from guys. And girls complimented me and questioned me for my secret to being skinny. They wanted the body that now overtook me. I say overtook because they body I was in was not me. I was overtaken by ED. Every little thing I did and thought about revolved around ED. As my counselor put it, he was like an abusive boy friend that I was afraid to leave.

 

At the time all these compliments and praise where fueling a fire. My ED feed on them. It gave me more willpower and strength to keep going down the ED road. I know that many of you did not know what I was going though. Many of you maybe had some worries, but did not know how to go about addressing them. Many people thought I was so happy with my newfound body. But, that was not the case at all. Everyday was horrifying to me. I was always consumed by the thought of food and exercise. I planned my life around eating and working out. I was afraid to go out to eat and be social. I had a whirlwind of negative ED thoughts going through my head every second: “What if there is nothing there I can eat?” ,“I can’t go to the restaurant it is not healthy.” ,“You can’t eat that you will get fat.” , “Nope, I can’t go to the movies with you I will miss my meal time. “ ,and “Heck no I will not go to breakfast with you. That is when I work out.” Everyday was a battle for me, and in the beginning ED won a lot of the time. I could not be a normal person my age. I was no longer the outgoing and adventurous girl I once was. Stress and sadness overtook my frail body. I hardly slept and felt like there was no way out. I had lost friends and could not make any. I had never felt so alone yet so controlled by someone (ED).

 

There are times when I wonder what my life would be like and where I would be if I had not had an ED. I think back at all the time I lost while I was consumed with my ED and all the experiences I missed out on. But that does not good. Everything happens for a reason. All I know is that I have been able to battle the demons and have discovered some of my old self again. I have gained back friendships and now can go out and be social and adventurous again. I wont say I am back to my old self because I have becomes so much stronger and have gained a different perspective on life. I still do have struggles but I have much so much progress.

 

I write this article in order to help other girls who are going through what I did. I want people to think about things before they say them and understand the seriousness of an ED. It is sad to see that this is what our society has come to. Skinny = happy, healthy, beautiful, successful, etc. I was one of the many young girls that fell to this message and unfortunately many other people. I see this everyday on Instagram and social media. Many young girls are praised for their unhealthy eating and exercise habits. What I ask is for you to think about what actually is beauty, healthy, and happiness. Challenge societies irrational standards. I can tell you from experiences that skinny does not equal happiness or health. Happiness is friendship, relationships, adventures, experiences, and love. There is so much more to life than that.

I hope this spoke to you! Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

-Hayls

 

The ABC’s of me

I wanted to let you guys know a little bit more about me. So I decided to do a little fun ABC survey!

A: Apples. I LOVE apples. I eat one everyday.
B: Basketball. I played basketball since I was 5 years old and I love it. I have not played it much recently, but it is defiantly something I want to get into again.

C: CATS. I love cats. I have 2 kitties at home! I will be a crazy cat lady.

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One of my kitties. Her name is Gerty.

D: Dogs. I love dogs too….just not as much as cats.

E:  Elf. One of my favorite Christmas movies!

F: Fats. I used to be so afraid of eating fats. Now I love healthy fats like avocado, seeds, and nut butters!

avocado

My favorite!! Toast, Avocado, and Pepper!

G: Gum. I gave up gum almost a year ago because I was a chain chewer. I needed to stop!

H: Happy. I love to be happy. I work on this everyday.

I: Ice cream. I love ice cream but unfortunately it hurts my tummy. So I have to find alternatives.

J: June: The month I was born. I was born on the 21st aka the first day of summer!

K: Kids. I want 2 kids when I am older. I want one of my own then I want to adopt one.

L: Listener. This is something I want to get better at. I sometimes find myself not fully listening when people are taking to me. I want to fully be focused on them.

M: Major My major is Sports Management and hopefully in minor in Business.

N: NOT a night owl. I love to go to bed early and wake up early.

in bed already
O: Optimistic. This is something I am working on.

Q: Qudoba!! Mmm mmm good!

R: Ruffles: I love ruffles and bows.

S: Sea Foam green. This is my favorite color!

T:  Twenty. My age, and in about  6 months I will be 21!

U: Uplifting: I try to help people and be as helpful as possible. I love to help people but sometimes I need to realize that people do not want help.

V: Vacation. I want to travel to Europe so bad. Ever since seeing The Sister Hood of the Traveling Pants I want to go to the Greece coast so bad!

greece

W: Weird, I can be goofy and weird if you get to know me.

X: X-ray: I have only had two x ray in my life  for my foot and one on my pelvis due to running injuries.

Y: young. I will be forever young at heart. I always want to be like Peter Pan and go the Nerverland.

Z: Zucchini. I love adding this to my oats, pancakes, and waffles. It adds volume and nutrients!

I though this was a fun little way to let you know more about me! Do we have anything in common?
-Hayls

Day 5 of my Rest from Exercise

It has been 5 days so far since I have decided to take rest from exercise fully.  The only things I have been doing are walks and little hikes at a slow relaxed pace. I am hoping this will help me physically, especially my injury, and mentally. I know that I have a bad relationship with exercise and it is unhealthy.  It was a hard decision to take on this challenge due to many reasons, but I knew I had to do it in order to do what I want to do in the long run. 5 days was my first goal, but I know that I need to keep going with the rest.  I still am unsure of how long I will be on this break. I need to get mentally and physically ready. I am unsure of how to tell when that will be, but I know its not time now.

So far these 5 days have actually not been as hard as I thought they would be. I have realized that I actually do NOT want to exercise everyday, and that in the past I was doing it because I though I had to (ED related).  I have enjoyed going on my walks and just enjoying the snow, fresh air, making snow angles, and peacefulness. When I walk I now am not doing it just purely to exercise. I am doing it because it brings me happiness. There are parts of me that do think I need to walk just to burn of those little bit of calories, but I have to challenge those thoughts and walk for the right reasons.

Snow Angle   ASPEN

My eating has stayed exactly the same as it was when I was exercising. I am still as hungry and I have not tried to eat less. I have thought about it though. All I am trying to do is listen to my body and trust it. It kind of makes me nervous that I am still eating a ton and some of it is not all healthy. There are thoughts about weigh gain and my tummy getting bigger. But I try and rationalize those thoughts. So what if I gain weight? What does that mean? NOTHING. That is what I try and tell myself.

Everything is just so unknown right now that it scares me.

I do not know how long it will take to heal this injury

I am unsure of what to do to heal it

I am unsure if walking on it is making it worse

I am unsure of how to be eating

I am unsure of how long I need to be on this break

I am unsure of what I will do when get back into exercising

I am unsure of when to start exercising again

All these thoughts are going through my head. I am trying to focus on the NOW and be present. I need to just take it day by day and not worry about the future or else I will be overwhelmed.  It is such a hard mental battle, but I know I need it. This break is going to drastically help me with my ED recovery. I no longer have exercise as a way to please ED.

So I am going to continue on with my break for now, try and do what’s best for my body, listen to my hungry, listen to my body, be positive, and live in the now.

IMG_8275
-Hayls

Finally Making a Change

rest

I have finally decided to make a change. I have been telling myself for so long that I need to do something to change myself. I have been thinking a lot lately about my life and where it is going. I was not happy with it so I finally did something about it. In the past I would listen to the voice inside my head and did whatever to please ED*. But, not now. I am doing what is best for ME and no one else. It is ridiculous how long it has taken for me to realize how much damage I have caused my body. Both mentally and physically.
If you have been following me, you will know that I am struggling with an injury I have had for about 8 months now. For a long time doctors could not figure out what was wrong…I had x-rays, a bone scan, and an MRI. It has been a very frustrating 8 months. I never really gave myself full rest. I stopped running for a while and just did upper body then I got back into trying to do cardio and legs. MISTAKE after MISTAKE! So now I have done some research and I think I have tendinosis in both high hamstrings. My trainer here at school ( I used to run for my college) believes that is the case also. For the past few days I have just been doing upper body lifting, but I have come to find that I think even doing upper body impacts my injury. So today after I lifted I decided to finally take a FULL exercise break. This is something my body has been craving for so long now. There is a part of me that think I do not need this, but deep down I know I do. My first goal is 5 days then hopefully a week and I will go from there.

This is going to be very hard mentally for me for many reasons, especially ED. But it is time to let him go and do what is best for me. I worry about my body changing and food but I know that there is no need for that. It will be in the back of my head, but I am going to chose to ignore and do what is best. Which is rest and to nourish my body fully.
I am hoping to do more posting on my blog and now that I have more time hopefully I will! Check back for updates and other posts. Hope all is well.

-Hayls
*Eating disorder