“Welcoming Eyes”

Have you ever stopped and wondered what makes a person kind?

 

I often think about this and wonder what attracts humans to kind people and what attracts humans to not so kind people. One of the biggest things that came to mind is eyes, there’s something about looking into someone’s eyes. I feel as though I’m able to see a persons past through their eyes. I’m able to see truly who they are just by the welcomeness that streams from their eyes.

 

That being said there are many ways to attract each other that isn’t sight, and this post is in no means meant to be discriminatory against those who cannot see or cannot see well. But work with me here while I pitch through these thoughts as I’m writing.

 

This is written through my perspective, as I believe I have “welcoming eyes”

 

I think it starts when we’re young, we look up into our mom or dads eyes and we see our future. As we daze up it’s like a movie, we don’t even know it yet but our young little bodies are gonna be hugged so tight which will result in for the rest of our lives we know that that embrace will protect us forever. That’s where it starts, that’s when we know, in our vulnerable little bodies, that they’ve got us. They welcomed us into their world with their eyes. That’s when we first learned what “welcoming eyes” was.

 

Maybe next comes a friend, I know it did for me. Its a friend I met on the first ever day of school. She became my best friend. We were both balling, our moms looked at each other. Then we looked at each other. She welcomed me over but not with her words, her shyness wouldn’t allow that. With her eyes and a quick grin I knew we were gonna be best friends. She was an angel. All throughout our friendship, she stood up for me. I listened as my classmates teased me and I watched as my best friend looked them in the eyes and told them to stop. Never has anyone stood up for me as she did. Her eyes as she looked back at me pierced mine with compassion and love.

 

I watch as welcoming eyes become less and less common. Maybe its a society change thing, maybe it’s an age thing. I watch as welcoming eyes only look at certain people that way. I watch as used to be familiar welcoming eyes become dark ones.

 

You can tell a lot from someone’s eyes. The way they feel about you, the way they feel about that exact moment and maybe a moment that happens or one about to happen. I feel as though I can see right through peoples eyes sometimes. Like when I look in those deeper I see something or I’ll see nothing. But its pretty sad to look into eyes and see nothing and its pretty amazing to see passion, kindness, love, patience, and forgiveness.

 

You can tell a fake smile from a real one, that’s easy. But have you tried ditermining the difference between eyes that are fake and real?

 

I watched as a teacher taught me, one that actually cared. One that had welcoming eyes. I wouldn’t have learned as much as I did if not for his welcoming eyes.

 

My sister, as she watches her big sister dying in a hospital bed. She looked at me with sad, hopeful, welcoming eyes. I wouldn’t be here without her gaze and hug.

 

A friends love a deep conversation with intimate gazes and crying. To the same friends love with laughs and shots. Eyes that show wildness. Both welcoming me into her world.

 

The gaze of lust, appreciation, and happiness he gave me. Those green eyes looking right through me. Those are some of the most welcoming eyes I’ve ever seen. It’s hard to find someone like that. Pure compassion and love filled in his one gaze.

 

Right back to hugging my parents before I leave for school each day, those homebound welcoming eyes that will forever have my heart.

 

All of these people have taught me how to have “welcoming eyes” and I could not be more glad to have them.

 

I hope one day my last gaze is welcoming. I hope the last person who gazes at me is one with a story, one with deep, meaningful, and “welcoming eyes”.  

 

-Liv

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A Hug

A face I’d hardly seen in person,

Still a best friend, who sat in front of me.

My skinny, frail body sat there on a hospital bed. Listening to every word he said, responding the best I could with what I had left

Every breath was an effort, in fact, every moment was an effort.

He brought flowers, but I didn’t care about those.  But HE came

Not my friends since I was young, not friends that were all saying they’d come.

I told him not to come, I told him it was too far. He didn’t listen.

He came anyway.

With a full grin on his face, even though he was staring at a frighting looking me.

He was staring like I was important like he wanted to heal me instantly.

At this time I didn’t want to heal, I wanted him to leave, to not see me in pain. I wanted him to stop wasting his emotions on bones.

But he didn’t.

He stayed.  I’m so glad he did. because if he didn’t

I’m not sure I’d be here today.

Before he left he hugged me.

We stayed there for a while, inhaling the memory

Physically this hug was dead,

but I will never forget the way he hugged me.

He hugged me like I was a baby bird

So gentle, barely touching me even. No pressure just letting me grip on him

He told me later when I was back in my bed tucked away for the night,

That he was terrified to hug me

He said that all he could feel was bones, that he was terrified to break me

He said he went home and teared up

Just simply sad I felt this way, broken that I was broken.

Little did he know this hug meant the world to me.

This hug was so mentally healing, the feeling of someone wanting me to be better so badly, to feel someone’s presence instead of the constant over the phone empathy.

It was a hug I will never forget.

He and I don’t talk much anymore, even though I wish we did.

If you’re reading this, please know that it meant the world to me. And that hug will forever be one of my favorite hugs of all time.

I hope you’re doing well. I know I am.

Love,

Liv

A Message to the Jeans That Don’t Fit Anymore.

Dear jeans that don’t fit anymore,

I find it kinda funny how when I woke up this morning I felt the need to put you on. Man, I haven’t worn you in a good 6 months. I went to slip you on jeans. One foot after another pulling you up above by calves and then my thighs….

Or not. You barely squeezed up my thighs. I watched in the mirror as I shimmied and jumped around my room repeating “you have to fit” “you have to fit”.  Finally over my thighs. But you wouldn’t button up.

After throwing you against the wall, screaming, and flopping on the floor ready to pick at every flaw I thought I had. I had a thought.

 

I loved you.

I’ve had you since grade 9 and you never disappointed me, as I strutted around not caring what anyone thought. I thought I was hot shit in your jeans, you always had my back when I needed a confidence boost.

You were there through my first kiss, you made me feel like I was good enough. But jeans you began to disappoint me soon enough.

I looked in the mirror one day and said to you that you fit too snug. You didn’t, you were a perfect size. But still, I needed to fit into you better. I needed to lose weight.

So I began to do just that.

I watched as you got looser and looser on me. I still looked at you as you were falling off of me and said “still too tight”.

It got to the point where I couldn’t even wear you out because not even a belt wouldn’t hold you up.

You’ve followed me a long way, from fitting perfect, to being able to fit two of me in you, to fitting perfect again.

But I’ve changed the jeans, you didn’t fit me this morning. For the first time ever, you were too small.

I used to be convinced that I needed to be able to always fit you. You were my go-to jean, the pair of jeans that always made me feel good. But you were also the jeans that almost killed me.

 

After hopping around my room, gripping at the belt buckles to pull you up, and sucking in my stomach as much as possible. I asked myself why?

Why am I holding onto something that’s old and doesn’t fit anymore? It’s clear I’m too big for you now but why am I trying so hard to fit. I ripped you off. Threw you into a goodwill pile because maybe someone will fit into you. Someone who meant to fit into you in a healthy manner.

I picked myself off the ground and said:

Goodbye jeans that simply don’t fit anymore.

I said SIMPLY. Because that’s all it is. You simply don’t fit anymore. This isn’t the end of the world. I’m still just as beautiful inside and out as when I first bought you.

But jeans,

I’ve grown out of you…

Just like the mindset that kept me in you all those years.

 

What If

It’s been forever since I’ve posted something on here. But honestly, I use this to get stuff out of my head. Everything I post on here was probably sitting in the back of mind, and I needed to get it out. I love writing, and this free blog just helps me clear my head from nasty thoughts. So as always here’s a trigger warning. This post is gonna talk about depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicide. Also, note that much like all my other posts it ends on a happy note, and it is a positive post.

What If.

What if you cure cancer.

What if you fall in love with your soul mate.

What if you travel the world.

What if you become prime minister.

What if you’re happy again? What if these demons inside your head get quieter?

I asked her these questions praying that she’d see it. She held my face and shook me. Saying there was no what ifs and that it didn’t matter. She hugged me, it was so cold, so desperate. She was desperate for love. I only hope that she felt it from me. She felt like there was no way out.

But she didn’t believe I wanted to help. She thought I was just trying to be there. But really I was there. I knew exactly how she felt.

Please, read this. And know I am talking to you. There are no names mentioned because you need to insert yours. Each and every one of you deserves to live a fantastic life…

I don’t talk a lot about my depression and self-harm tendencies. I believe that out of both my ED and anxiety my depression is the most gone. But man was it ever bad at one point. Self-harm comes in a lot of forms. I won’t sit here and list them but let me tell you about mine. Punching, scratching and hitting. The voices in my head destroyed me. All I wanted was to shake them out. I would smash my head against the floor, hit it in the corner of my dresser. I craved having a headache because it made me think about that and not the demons in my head. It was exhausting listening to them. I slept, but when I woke up, they were there. I needed something to get rid of the pain. I used to scratch my wrists. I would purposely leave my nails sharp so when I was stressed and needed to feel something other then guilt and pain I could feel it. I’d punch walls, punch myself, anything I could find that I knew would hurt. I stood in front of a mirror contemplated living. Asked myself what the point was.

What saved me?

What if.

What if saved me. I thought what if someone does still care about me. What if my friends do really want me back. What if I do get back to riding again. What if I get better.

What if these voices go away. What if I’m happy again.

And it happened. All the what ifs came true.

The next time you’re asking yourself what the point is to think of this post. Come back and read it even. Because you don’t know what the future holds. You deserve the world and you deserve to live the most amazing life you can. You have to tell yourself what if. You need to make yourself believe that there will be a what if that comes true. And you need to find out. If you can’t think of it reach out to someone. They’ll tell you. There is always another option. Don’t give up, keep fighting. Because I am a survivor and proof that a complete low can turn into a complete high. Soon you will be a survivor. And soon you will be telling people what if. But you have to believe it first yourself.

You are always worth it. And there is always a way out that isn’t suicide. Get help and help yourself.

As always I’m ALWAYS here to talk. And I encourage you to reach out.

Forever love,

Liv

The Picture That Started It All

As always I’m putting a trigger warning on this, I wouldn’t say there is anything specific in this but it is pretty deep stuff. Also, I want everyone to remember that I am not defined by my mental illness. I do not expect to be treated differently for expressing these posts. I do this to raise awareness and to hopefully change someone’s view. So here goes….

To be 100% honest I never thought that I would be sitting here typing about what really triggered me to look at my body in disgust and strive to change it but… here I am I guess. I was reading an article on body positivity the other day sent to me by a friend in recovery and it triggered an old thought, one I haven’t thought about ever really. One that as I look back at it truly changes how I believe my eating disorder really started.

It was a normal day, I was 11 years old. I had just got the newest and first iPod touch, all my friends had interest and of course, I had to see what all the fuss was about (LOL at this) So I got it, I started to scroll through pictures, and I scrolled across a picture. I’ve looked long and hard for this picture so I could show it but I still have not found it, I am just gonna explain it.

A tall, tan, very thin girl is lying on a bed on her side in only boy brief underwear and a men’s t-shirt. She is accompanied in the bed by an attractive male without a shirt on. Just lying there, they were not doing anything sexual just cuddling. But what really caught my eye was the women’s hips. She was on her side, exposing her hips and a dip between her hip bones in the front. They were popping out and the man had he hands on her hips. But he was gripping her hip bones.

I looked at this picture time, after time, after time. And every time I did I got the same punch in the stomach. I did not look like this. Guys will never like me. That is what controlled my thoughts. I often think that the pit of eating disorder came from the influence of the opposite sex; I assume this is why I have become very private and self-aware in that sense now. But when I looked at this girl I need her hips, I neede to be that skinny. I wanted it so bad. I remember I used to go to bed (at the age of 10) and wish I was skinny. Wish I was pretty enough for boys to like. I let the idea of being liked by men consume how I viewed myself. I look back at this so extremely ashamed, I know this was obviously not the main reason for me eating disorder as so many attributes connected to it but this was a big one. I did not act on eating disorder habits (even though I had no idea they were ed behaviors) until grade 10. But all throughout my school years, I looked at myself as never enough, never pretty enough, and never skinny enough.

My most vivid memory is being about 12 years old (still looking at this picture) at a friends cottage. I was getting changed into my bathing suit, I always wore one piece as a kid fully knowing I could not even attempt a two piece. I was changed into my bathing suit and I looked in the full-length mirror. In pure disgust, the first thing I grabbed? My lower tummy, I desperately searched for my hip bones with my hands but couldn’t find them. I lied to the ground. I sucked in the biggest breath in my life, stretched out my body as much as I could and I reached down. I found my hip bones. Small, little bumps. But they were there.

I look back at these memories and just feel so drained and sad. I’m sitting at my laptop bawling my eyes out because I just hated myself so much. How could I do that to my body? It was such a waste. STanding there looking in the mirror at something I couldn’t change overnight or at all really instead of going out and playing with my friends at their cottage. I was too focused on looking like this stupid picture at the age of 12 to enjoy my life.

I read a quote the other day and it really got me thinking. Do you want to be sitting on your dead bed in 70 years reminiscing over all the memories you’ve had and WISH that you went to the damn birthday dinner, that you wore the dress you loved but someone told you looked bigger in it, wish you had the piece of cake at your best friends wedding? No. You do not want that. You want to fill your life with memories that do not include constant dieting and feeling uncomfortable in your body. You want amazing memories with friends and family that bring so much joy that tears of happiness roll down your little wrinkly cheeks. Not tears of sadness and regret. So you have a chance to change this, I did. Change the way you look at the world, the way you look at others, yourself, and the way you plan to make memories. A life filled with joy will always outrun a life filled with sorrow.

My Exercise Story

Okay, I honestly don’t even know where to start this. I guess I’ll start with a trigger earning as this post will probably contain stories, and numbers from the worst of my eating disorder.

IMG_4087 (1)Life is pretty damn short when you think about it guys, and I mean I know getting to the gym can be pretty important to a lot of us. This could be for someone struggling with an eating disorder or just an everyday gym rat… (Yes I just used the term gym rat ugh) But for real it is not that important. Chances are there are 2 main reasons for someone working out (in most cases not all, chill). 1. you want to become stronger and healthier as a person. 2. you want to look “better” or a different way then you do now. Listen if number 2 is one of the only main reasons stop you suck. Okay sorry, you don’t suck but like that is such a shitty reason to workout. Before you even begin to think about working out and getting serious about it you need a reality check. Your body will not change until you learn to accept the one you have now. If you hate your body then you are gonna end up getting frustrated in the gym because the changes are not happening fast enough, or they are happening wrong whatever that may be. You could end up restricting, binging out of emotion and frustration, overdoing, and underdoing it. I’m gonna take you guys on a little journey through my relationship with exercise from past to present. So sit back, relax, and whatever you do… do not to what I did *imagine me face playing right now*

Alright so, as many of you know I was a… bigger kid. That being said I was never so big I was at risk I was just chubby. Yeah when I was little it was cute but as I got older I began to be teased for it, always stepping on the scale at the doctor and having her say that I need to be careful, family members and peers mentioning small comments about. It sucked, I hated my body. But you know what I hated more? Any kind of physical activity. Though this was so long ago that I don’t know whether it was more because I was not even close to being physically fit, that I couldn’t do have of it, or that when I did do it I was made fun of for sucking at it… It always surprises me though as I was on a lot of sports teams in early elementary school. I guess in the end the hate for exercise overtook the hate for my body. Now at this time, I was no question the healthiest I could be, but I mean I was pretty happy. Later through elementary school, more so in grade 7 and 8, I was at a new school. With this new school brought TOTALLY different standards. I looked around and I was surrounded by skinny, grown-up girls. That is when I made myself start to watch what I was eating. I was AlWAYS comparing myself to people. I even remember saying that I was not allowed to wear leggings because my mom thought they were inappropriate but that wasn’t the case at all. I felt so massive and gross, and that I didn’t have the body to wear them so I never did. This is when exercise came into play slowly. I was on and off for 3 years (7, 8, and 9) with exercise. Mostly “running,” I say it in quotations because of the fact that it turned into walking and crying because i was so frustrated i could barely run. But grade 10? That’s when it started.

Grade 10, I’ll begin with a phase I went through at the beginning of grade 10. Because i was working out throughout the summer and my body slowly began to change, it began to look really strong. I had bigger legs, i could lift so much heavier, I hadn’t lost any IMG_4204 (1)weight but I looked and felt stronger and healthier. Anyway, because of this change, I started to notice and began to get more attention from the opposite sex (lmao at me trying to be formal). Without giving too much personal stuff away let’s just say I had quite a few “love” interests the first half of the year… I can’t say why but I only know that all of the sudden guys liked me, they liked the way I looked. I felt dare I say confidently?? I was no longer the girl “who had a cute face but not a nice body” and I became a girl that guys thought were (cringe time) hot. I loved this attention, LOVED it. I never had this ever in my life. But it did slowly change. At this point, I was working out every second day, and on the day I wasn’t working out I was running 5-8k. No rest days. Some days I even ran that and lifted weights. I remember once being on facetime with two guys I had been talking to lately, while I was running on the treadmill. They told me that I should take more rests cause its better for the body. I didn’t listen to my thoughts were if I stop then i’m gonna get fat again and they won’t talk to me anymore. So I ran and ran and worked out and worked out. I got stronger and stronger until I hit my peak, the end of grade 10. I was in a personal fitness class and man I rocked it all the beginning of the year. I would workout in class then go home and run or workout again. I couldn’t stop.

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Then came track, the last couple months of school I was on the school track team. I was by no means really good but I placed. I did 1.5k and 3k, the long distance around the track. All of sudden I was seen as athletic. Shit, I was athletic. Visions from when I was kid would flashback of begin made fun of when i couldn’t run as fast and as long as anyone else and always being the last to finish filling my head every time I put on my running shoes and I began my race or practice. Then it happened, 70 minutes workouts in personal fitness, 5k running intervals in track right after, then I came home and either worked out with weights or I ran again. And what did I eat for dinner after all this you may ask? Spaghetti squash, chicken breast, and tomato sauce. That’s it. I look back at this and I am heartbroken. I was killing myself slowly and slowly. But even though my race times worsened and worsened I didn’t see a problem with it. So even when school ended and track ended throughout the summer I kept going.

At this point, I can not even imagine how much I weighed probably close to 110. And all throughout the summer, I continued to workout, only know I would force my mom to take me to the gym. It got to the point now that I didnt enjoy working out or running. I began to take breaks during my run. I would run 1k and feel like I was gonna pass out. I took this as I was out of shape, I must be getting fat again. So i pushed harder, i would make myself run faster, and long only to leave me more and more tired. I decided to stop running the end of July after a scary run with my dad. I could barely do it, I ran 600m maybe and I almost fell over. I just told my dad it was because i was anxious. I generally thought that was why although I was anxious because i knew I had to stop but I was so scared what was going to happen.IMG_4203 (1)

Even though I stopped running I still kept working out, I remember my parents really started to get nervous about how much weight I lost during this time. They started to weigh me, I started to see the number get lower and lower. I was scared but I was also scared to gain more. I didn’t know what I was doing. I was always told that getting better and working out and doing more exercise was the best I could do for my body.

IMG_6375Tuesday, August 11, 2016, rolled around and I had my mom take me to the gym. I did my workout, having to take a break every 3 reps of everything because I got extremely dizzy. But I didn’t stop, it was just because I was out of shape I told myself. That same day I went to the doctors for an appointment, she weighed me and was worried but she trusted me. She had me have my blood work done. I went out shopping with my friend that afternoon and I remember trying on a pair of leggings in lulu lemon. I turned around to look at my butt and I saw my tailbone and spin. I saw them sticking out so far. I was a skeleton. As ironic as it sounds I got a call from my mom telling me I needed to meet her outside right away. My blood tests came back and they were bad. I went t emergency and had a blood transfusion.  was admitted into the hospital as “anorexic teen” Now I’m not going to get into this too much as This post is all about exercise but if ya wanna read more on that check out my journey post way back. I was good in the hospital I did what I was told and I gained enough weight to be discharged. But it didn’t stop there. I came home every night n worked out in my room, in secret. I had to keep the fat off and stay fit. Believe me when I say this I COULD NOT STOP. It was secret. You name the exercise I did it. I would tell my parents I was taking my dogs for a walk and run.

November rolled around and I finally broke, I went to my checkup at the eating disorder hospital and they admitted me. I was terrified. I screamed and I wanted nothing to do with it. My mother full of tears and nothing but my skinny boney body to keep me warm. The weirdest part was part of me was relieved to be admitted. I wanted to stop exercising so so bad and I wanted to eat but I could do it. But now I was forced to stop and I was almost relieved to have the control be in someone else’s hands again. But the exercise didn’t stop there. Day after day I would complete secret exercising in the hospital. From in the shower to you name it I COULD NOT STOP. There was no part of me. My parents taught me, nurses caught me, doctors caught me, other patients caught me. I was drowning in guilt. Until a nurse on my unit started a stretching light yoga class for the girls on my unit. It changed my life, she changed my life. She introduced yoga into my life and I have been doing it ever since, though it started as something to relieve the urges it turned into something that relieved so much guilt and just brought me so much happiness.IMG_6243

After being discharged I continued to practice yoga on my own, this quickly turned into something more. BUT this time I caught myself. I talked to my therapist and said I could feel it starting to turn more into exercise and I could feel my ed starting to take over more and more again. I stopped practicing on my own and I started at a studio. Hot yoga, now I was in an environment where i couldn’t overdo it and it was under the watch of a teacher. It helped so much and slowly I got better and better. Near the end of August 2017, we went on vacation, and my dad surprised me with being able to run with him for the first time in a year and a half. I ran 3.6k, and I was barely out of breath at the end. i smiled the entire time. I ran that better than when I was training every day and you know why? Because my body was being fueled, rested, and was stress-free.

This lead to the last step. The part I had been waiting for the entire time throughout my recovery- to workout again. My passion the truth of my passion was lifting. My therapist, my family, my doctor, and I all came to the conclusion that I was ready to start working out. This time under supervision. With a personal trainer.

The first day of my training, 3pm on Wednesday. It has been that day and time ever since that day in late August. I was so so nervous but so extremely excited at the same time. My trainer also trained my therapist so I knew that it was all good to go. I met him and we instantly clicked! We had such similar personality types and he was just so easy to talk to. To this day I still train with him, I look back and see how freaking far I have come from that first day of training and how mentally stronger I’ve gotten every damn time.

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Now I go to a class at the same gym once a week, train once a week with my trainer, workout once at home, and do an MMA kickboxing class with my sister twice a week. I ride my horse, and practice yoga and I’m an average teenager. I no longer let the thoughts of exercise to burn calories fill my mind and instead I focus on the overall health of my body and what the exercise does to me. Never to what I look like. So many people comment on my exercise level. But to be completely honest they wouldn’t be. I am eating for what I do. I am in the process of a bulk right now and it is going well. Exercise holds such a special part in my life and it did in my recovery. I have a mind and body that needs the feeling of being challenged physically. I could not be more happy with my relationship with exercise today. I can honestly say that a healthy, and an enjoying relationship with exercise is so worth the long road to recovery and having to stop exercise during weight restoration and such. But remember exercise isn’t life. You do it to IMPROVE your life. So if the exercise you are doing is damaging your physical health, damaging your mental health (all my homies with ed’s who workout without a clear mind frame im lookin atchu), and overall does not make you happy, stop. Just stop reevaluate what you are doing and make a change. Because exercise isn’t a punishment its supposed to improve your full mind and body health…

So yeah that’s like an undetailed (believe it or not) life story of my relationship with exercise!! Remember that I am always a text, dm, call, door knock (okay this one is more of a metaphor) away. I love offering my advice, and my past experience with people who are going through similar feelings I went through. You are never alone

Much love,

Liv 🙂

Hawaii 2018 – Day to day summary & how to stay healthy on vacation.

Okay so.. Liv gets deep here so sit back. Notice how I didn’t put anything specific about having an ed and going on vacation? Or fitness and vacation? and so on??? This is for a reason, what is a vacation? Well according to the google definition it is “the action of a breaktime offrecessleave, leave of absence, furloughsabbaticalspring break”. So if you are taking a break from life why are you still vigorously working out? Or counting cals and restricting. Or even worrying about your goals in general on vacation?! I’m so horrible for this, even today. I do A LOT of traveling with my family but still I have such a hard time not slipping back the slightest bit while I’m away. From different meal times, too different routines it can be really hard to stay healthy on vacation, which is why staying “healthy” on vacation is not eating perfect and working out every day. It’s letting your mind relax and doing only what it and your body want. In this blog, post im going to give my top ____ tips to enjoying a vacation with your friends or family with disorder eating or any sort of guilt! 

Tip 1 – Always challenge yourself

Well the time change messed with us like insanely… it is 5 hours behind at this point and starting the day off I was STARVING. It was 6 am Hawaii time and 11 am Ottawa (home) time, I decided to try my best to fall back asleep and I actually managed. For 30 mins… hahaha. But anyway we found out at the hotel we were at had a cute little complimentary breakfast… cereal, yogurt, little egg dishes, and fruit. The perfect simple breakfast to curve our hunger. After breakfast, i did a bodyweight workout class! Holy fun! The resort we were at was also a fitness centre for locals so they had a class called “abs out, bottoms up” My fav muscle areas all in one 50 min class. yes please! After this we did some tennis I had my usual snack of nuts and on with day. This was very much a chill day just walking around trying to get our bearings. Then lunch came around we drove to a local food truck and the panic started. I was terrified to sink my teeth into something “greasy” or “fried”. I acknowledged this and deiced on a “safe” option. Or so I thought safe. I order a salmon poke bowl, never having had a poke bowl before i was expecting something light, and well safe. It wasn’t. It came back with a pile of rice, cooked in coconut milk then topped with more coconut milk, seared salmon and avocado all topped with crispy coconut and a coconut oil and lime dressing. Wow was it good but wow was it hard. Its important to remember on a trip that food is meant to be enjoyed. I know its really hard to not just pick the safe option and when the safe option ends up being not so safe, its not something you can just brush away and eat something else. You need to eat it. Just because you’re on vacation does not mean you can just be relaxed 24/7 and not challenge yourself. When you have an ED you need to be always challenging it. So I ate it. Therefore always challenge yourself.

Tip 2 – Always communicate with your friends and family that you’re with

When you have disorder eating or an eating disorder, in general, it is so easy to isolate yourself and assume everything thats not being said is because they don’t care. THEY DO CARE. Don’t assume that your family knows how you’re feeling 24/7 they are relaxed too, therefore, they might not always see whats going on like at home. Just tell them, be straight up….. , I could tell my family was disappointed that I didn’t have fried shrimp tacos that day and they figured what I ate (salmon poke bowl) was easy and something that was the least bit challenging for me. Its hard when you look into a family members eyes and see disappointment and especially when you worked really hard to fight through a meal. I decided to spoke to my dad about it, I talked it out with him, I told him how hard it truly was and he really accepted it. I understand that everyone’s family is different, but I promise you even if you just say something along the lines of “Look mom I just can not so the hamburger and fries I promise you that I just don’t have it in me, or if you’re feeling guilty just talk it out go and get a hug!” That being said you can use the “I just can’t do it trick every time” But you should know in your heart when you can fight it and when you gotta take a step back.

Tip 3 – Exercise or don’t… who cares

Yes I know, I want you to ignore every fitspo Instagram account that says you have to get a workout in during your vacation to keep your goals up. But guess what? You don’t. Before I left I talked to my trainer and my therapist about keeping up weights while I was away. They both proceed to tell me why? I didn’t really have an answer other than making sure my gains wouldn’t disappear. They responded with “in 2 weeks? Thats impossible.” I was actually hitting a bit of block, my muscles weren’t getting bigger, I wasn’t getting stronger, and I wasn’t gaining any weight. I was just stuck. They are convinced this trip was exactly what I needed. Just like anything else our muscles get used to working out and then it doesn’t have the same effects. This way I’m coming back and shocking the shit out of them! And hopefully, I’ll see some more progress. But lets talk, what if they don’t? What if I lost weight on this trip? That sucks yeah but oh well. BECAUSE of IM LIVING MY LIFE. Fitness and healthy eating is great but cmon guys weight, food, and exercise should not rule ur life. You are on vacation, go and enjoy it and don’t worry about the days off.

Tip 4 – Remember that this trip is a short period of time compared to the rest of your life!!

Whenever I’m on vacation and i’m having urges or feeling guilty I remember one thing- My family (the people on the trip with) I care way more about how they feel then I do how I look. Plus lets think about this… its a few days maybe 2 weeks of vacation IT WILL NOT CHANGE YOU ONE BIT… Do what your would have done pre-ed on this trip because your pre-ed self would have eaten whatever they wanted and had the most fun on this trip! Let your ed hit the curb… This is YOUR trip not his/hers.

Tip 5 – Lastly and most important!! BE FLEXIBLE 

This is by far the most important tip I have. On this trip, my flexibility was tested to the MAX. Our meal times were all over the place, food is hit or miss in Hawaii, exercise was limited, and man the biggest challenge I had… Mcdonalds. I haven’t had McDicks (yes i’m calling it that) in over 3 years. Well, that changed after going to a breakfast place and hearing that it and almost every other restaurant in Waikiki Hawaii has a 1-hour wait and that you gotta make reservations AT LEAST one day prior we had to eat. And so Mcdonalds it was. Now I’m all for balance but that egg McMuffin had to be the grossest and most unsatisfying breakfast ive ever had. (don’t even get me started on this though) But what did I do? I ate it. Did I enjoy it? Hell no. Would I do it again if there was no other choice? Course. Life is all about flexibility. There was nothing else and I sure as hell was not gonna starve, so McMuffin it was. Although it wasn’t as hard as i thought it was going to be (during and after guilt was non-existent really). Truth is i’m sick of everyone in te recovery and fitness community who claims to be recovered CONSTANTLY eat the same “healthy” foods, even on vacation! Vacation is meant for good food, both healthy and “not” healthy food, and peace. Eat out somewhere for god sakes forget about your sweet potatoes for one sec and open your eyes!! Even if that means an egg McMuffin once in a while. Be a kid/teenager/young adult/ JUST LIVE YOUR DAMN LIFE!

Hope this helps, if you have any more questions or comments about it shoot me a dm on Instagram! – @livshealthysmile_

Remember that this is not targeted at anyone in particular, these are simply my own tips and opinions 🙂