ways to show yourself compassion

I was discussing my recent New Year’s Resolution with my therapist last week. I’d decided to do a random act of kindness for someone each day. It doesn’t have to be a big deal at all–even a kind word will do it! I just thought it would be a great way to spread a little love and get out of my head a bit.

But then my therapist started me thinking (as therapists so often do). She replied that my idea sounded wonderfully and lovely, but had I considered adding myself to the list of random act of kindness participants?

I looked at her with a little bit of amusement and assured her that no, that wasn’t how it worked.

But that got me thinking: why can’t it be? If I’m so dedicated to showing love to other people, it seems a little bit ridiculous that I’m harboring so much hate and guilt towards myself. I realize those are strong words, but anyone with an eating disorder will connect with them. Sometimes the self loathing is so strong all you want to do is turn off your life and become someone, anyone, else. Which is impossibly sad. 

So I decided to take her up on her suggestion, and begin making myself the recipient of some of my random acts of kindness. It isn’t a selfish thing; it’s about self preservation. Part of the recovery process is remembering all of the wonderful things these magnificent bodies of ours are capable of. To do that, you’ve got to show ’em a little bit of love!

Here’s my list of 15 little ways to show yourself some compassion today.

1. Buy some new bubble bath/bath bombs and take a long, lingering soak. Don’t worry about the other shit you have to get done.
2. Take an hour/two hours/an afternoon to do what you really like doing. Don’t try to fool yourself into, “But I really do enjoy doing my homework!” Nope. Next choice. For me, this is reading or knitting 🙂
3. Start a movie or TV show marathon. You can be working on other tasks while you play it, but make sure it’s something you love. For me, this is Modern Family.
4. Say no. Recognize when you need to do something for yourself instead of going out with friends or doing an extra task, and say no without feeling guilty all night. I’m still working on this one, but it can be an awesome feeling!
5. Window shop! I go online and look at outfits that would look great on me. Price is no object when you’re just gazing.
6. Call someone you love and talk for a while. For me, this is usually my boyfriend or my mom. It can be so nice to hear someone’s voice and talk about nothing important for a while. If you need support, ask them for it. Be reminded of why they love you.
7. Make yourself a mug of something good. For a quick pick me up, I gravitate towards hot, good-for-the-soul drinks. If I don’t want to stress, it’s either hot water, tea, or coffee, but if I’m feeling indulgent and ready to challenge myself, I’ll get hot cocoa or a latte. 
8. Read something inspirational. For me, this runs the gamut between my devotional (Jesus Calling) and the accompanying Bible verses, to Peace Is In Every Step, a Taoist text on peace. Whatever works for you! Gain a little bit of inspiration and a chunk of perspective. 
9. Paint your nails. Take the ten minutes out of your routine to make yourself feel sparkly and pretty and worth it.
10. NAP!! This has become a huge one for me. I get so exhausted from the daily struggle of life plus recovery, and I have finally learned not to fight the nap train anymore. I embrace it. If there’s time for a nap, I will take it. Listen to what your body needs!
11. Take a walk and jam. I’m not allowed to exercise yet, which makes me a little stir crazy sometimes. When I have to have to get out and do something, I’ll take a walk and listen to a Pandora station I love (currently switching it up between Hillsong United, Mumford, and The Civil Wars).
12. Draw and color. There’s nothing more relaxing than making a coloring book pretty. Give your brain a chance to relax.
13. Let it go. Is there something you have to get done but just can’t do right now? Okay. Let it go. Seriously, put it aside for an hour or a day and come back to it later. Be kind to yourself and stop forcing your brain to do something it just doesn’t want to do. You’ll come back to it refreshed and ready to work.
14. Plan the future…but only fun things! I currently take mini breaks to Pinterest some inspiration about my upcoming trip to Italy and Paris. Places I want to eat macarons? Check. Gorgeous fountains? Check. Dream big! You have a future outside of ED.
15. Remind yourself how well you’re doing. Sometimes it pays to just take a moment and remember: You are enough. You have enough. You do enough. Recovery is absolutely exhausting, mentally, emotionally, and physically. If you start getting bogged down by how far you have to go, remember how far you have come. You’ve taken the first step towards getting better. Be proud of yourself.

What do you guys do to show yourself a little love? Let me know!

neda awareness week…coincidences or destiny?

This has been an interesting week from an ED point of view. First of all, and most obviously, I’ve been posting statuses for NEDA Awareness week on my Facebook, just reminding friends how gorgeous and wonderful they are–and how a number on a scale doesn’t play into that at all. So that’s been good.

But I’ve also been approached by several of my close friends about getting help this week. It’s run the gamut: some just needed a little bit of good vibes tossed their way. Others asked me for the names and numbers of my recovery team.

In this deeply personal struggle, I think it’s important to remember that most women (and men, for that matter) have something they would like to change about their body. I’m not a weirdo, I’m not crazy. I have a disease that makes me sick. But I’m by no means the only one. It’s good to remember that I’m not alone. 

It’s even better to remember that through my struggle, I have gained experience with which I can help others. Now that is a powerful thing.

Hope everyone has a great week!

National Food Flags

I saw this on Facebook and had to share. For any foodies, this post is absolutely gorgeous…and mouth watering. Advertising agency WHYBIN/TBWA created flags from 18 different countries formed out of the country’s most recognized foods. The flags were created as a promotion for the Sydney International Food Festival, but I think these prints would hang beautifully in any kitchen.

Italy, with it’s beautiful piles of fresh basil, pasta, and tomatoes, quickly won my heart. I’m also particularly fond of Great Britain’s scones, cream and jam. Not only because I’m an anglophile, but come on: that looks delicious.

Image

Italy…pasta marinara, anyone?

Image

Great Britain…of course it’s tea and crumpets. 

Image

And Brazil! Give me fresh fruit any day.

The Twelve Dates of Christmas: Date 2, A Winter Wonderland Drive

I love nothing more than looking at Christmas lights. Seriously, I wish those little sparklies could be up all year round. There is something so magical and beautiful about how they glow on the fresh snow, during the cold northern nights…see, they even make me more poetic than usual. Sigh. But I digress.

My second idea for a winter date night is inexpensive, memorable, and fun!

Date Night 2: Winter Wonderland Drive

Christmas lights always make everywhere look amd feel more special. They are deffinitely the ultimate Christmas decoration that you MUST have!!!

I would start the night with a yummy warm homemade dinner (crockpot soup? Grilled cheese and tomato basil bisque? It’s all good!) After dinner, it’s time to pile in the car and head to Starbucks, or another favorite local coffee shop, and indulge in a sweet and warm drink to ward off the chill inside the car. Even less expensive? Try one of these inexpensive hot cocoa recipes from Refinery29.

Peppermint hot chocolate is the perfect treat for a December morning.

Map out the best-lighted neighborhoods around (usually the ritzier, the better), put some Christmas classics on the radio, and drive around for a few hours. Here are a few must do’s:

  • Pick your favorite house. Special awards can be awarded to Highest Energy Bill, Most Creative, Dream Home, Most Blinding, etc.
  • Don’t be afraid to get out of the car! Last year, my friend and I actually went on this “date,” and my favorite moment was jumping out of the car to swing at a park for a few chilly, exhilerating minutes.
  • Take the paths less traveled: it can be fun to get lost and all turned around
  • Bring a camera to document your favorite houses, and any special moments. There could be a great holiday photo for next year’s Christmas cards in there somewhere!

Christmas Tree Lights on our dogwood in the front yard ~ yes please!

 

Adorable Little Ones

I don’t think I have a case of baby fever, at the moment. The same cannot be said for many of my college compatriots, who I see swooning over the little ones running about campus with a hungry look in their eyes. They’re so ready.

I am so not.

I do not want diapers or dirty dishes or throwing up or all my money spent on all of the above.

Logically.

But all of the cute fall and winter pictures of little hipster children? Yep. I’m there. I love them all. And a little bit of my heart cannot wait to dress my own in cute little pom pom hats and owl sweaters and baby slouchy boots and cart them around to parks and farmer’s markets and artisinal stores while we chatter amiably about the latest book that we have read together.

Le sigh. A girl can dream.

Image

Little Eleanor from Love, Taza. She’s a girl after my own heart.

Image

Image

Curly haired little guy. My dream.

Image

What could be sweeter?

 

I Dream in Tory Burch…

Tory Burch happened to have a Friends and Family sale the other day. I was immediately excited–till I realized that the beautiful footwear I was lusting after was still a little out of my price range. But this fall, I’m enjoying even dreaming about owning a pair (or two or three) of her gorgeous designs.  What is calling your name?

Ballet Flats.

Navy/bright Navy Tory Burch Serena 2 Ballet Flat

The Serena 2

Caroline Ballet Flat

The Caroline

Tory Burch Kaitlin Studded Ballet Flat

The Caitlin Studded

Tory Burch Lizard Printed Serena Ballet Flat

The Serena Lizard Printed

The Boots.

Coconut Tory Burch Bristol Riding Boot

Bristol Riding Boot

Almond/charcoal Tory Burch Rosalie Riding Boot

Rosalie Riding Boot

Almond Tory Burch Milan Wedge Bootie

Milan Wedge Bootie

 

 

Ode to the Honeycrisp Apple

Image

I am not sure that I can express my delight upon seeing that honeycrisp apples are now in season. I almost keeled over in Walmart when I saw them nestled, gleaming in their sunset-pink glory, amongst the granny smiths and red delicious.

And then I almost keeled over again when I saw the price tag. At $2.00 a pound, these guys are a little outside of my price range, considering I go through about 9 apples a week. (I feel a bit like an addict: “I can do that, I can make that work! I just won’t buy bread this week; yea, that’s a solid trade off, just give me the apples!!!”)

I forewent them for a few days, rationalizing that it’s early in the season and I can always buy more. But upon visiting our local natural grocery the other day (in search of fresh basil. Which no one has. Sigh.), I saw my favorite natural wonder again, sitting in prominent end cap display. And I caved.

The amount that I savor these guys cannot be compared. It’s almost like dessert: I try and enjoy every single bite, relishing the sweetness and crispness that reminds me, yes, autumn is actually here. And I am in love with it.

Here are a I’m excited to try. The common wisdom is to go with cheaper apples when you’re cooking, but I’m interested in trying some desserts with my favorite variety and seeing if I can taste the difference. Now please excuse me while I go delight in my lunch, in which a Honeycrisp features prominently. Happy fall, everyone!

Image

Salted Caramel Apple Handpies from Just a Taste

Image

Crockpot Baked Apples by Skinny Chef

Image

Upside Down Apple Cinnamon Cake by Behind the Curtain (this looks hard, but is made with Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. Life hacks are beautiful.)

Friday Fancies

Here’s a short and sweet list of things I’m crushing on this Friday. I hope you are having a lovely day!

Slide1

1. Beyond the Pencil (Skirt) Interviews from the Levo League. I’m obsessed with seeing into the inspiring lives of working women who are absolutely passionate about what they do, in all kinds of creative fields.  Today’s interview with Samira DeAmdrade was particularly inspiring.

2. These apple cider muffins are happening. I’ve been craving fall flavors, even though the heat won’t seem to cooperate.

3. I’m so excited about attending the state fair! I don’t know why, but I have been determined to go since freshman year and haven’t made it yet. But this year will be different. This year, I will drag my friends if I have to.

4. Date night! The Boyfriend and I will be watching Hot Fuzz while sipping on some brews…not going to lie, it will probably be warm apple cider for me. Or I might go for the Arctic Zero ice cream I’ve been craving for awhile. And speaking of Arctic Zero and healthy options…

5. I’m heading to Whole Foods for my first real shopping adventure tonight! I can’t really afford to get all my food there on a college kid budget, but I have some specialty items to pick up that you just can’t get at the regular store (for the record: spaghetti squash, PB2, and Arctic Zero are on the list. I’m going to try very, very hard not to impulse buy but. We shall see how that goes.) I feel like Whole Foods is a shopping experience in and of itself. I love wandering around and looking at all the delicious healthy options that I could be eating! Someday, someway.

6. I’m living for this article on College Prepster about the Kate Spade Beau bag. Beau, indeed; I want one in every colour! It’s hard for me to imagine spending a lot of money on a purse, but this one might be worth the sacrfice. It’s gorgeous, luxuriant, comes in colors to suit every look, and it has a HUGE BOW. What more do you need? Be still, my little preppy heart.

7. I’m heading to Waffle Champion this weekend, after weeks of lusting after them.  This cute little eatery started out of a food truck, and grew to such heights of popularity that they’ve opened up a sit-down restaurant. Basically, you start with a delicious buttermilk waffle, and add whatever you like to make it the waffle sandwich of your dreams. They have savory options, but I think I’ll be heading more towards the sweet side. Lemon curd, fresh berries and whipped cream, anyone?

Books to Fall For: September 2013

It’s been hard to find time to read as I ease into the business of school, but I’ve been loving the little moments of relaxation I pick up here and there.  Here are my book recommendations for September!

1) The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Euginedes

Image

Read It If You’re Craving: sweater-cuddled New England falls accompanied by a stack of Great Literature and a cinnamon dolce latte.

Why I Love It: Oh, this book.  I picked it up by happenstance at the bookstore, and have been able to put it down only reluctantly since.  It speaks to so many aspects of my little creative soul: the characters are all liberal arts students at Brown who discuss the greatest authors of British literature wittily; there are scenes of New England weather followed by beautiful descriptions of European travel; and, my favorite, the author goes deeply into the emotional development of his characters, delving into the weird little ways our mind works out relationships. I don’t want to go into the plot too much, but it’s a love story for the wacked out world we live in today.

2) The September Issue(s)

Image
Read It If You’re Craving: a high-fashion infusion without the $5,000 dollar price tag, or a front row seat at Fashion Week.
Why I Love It: As a fashion lover/college student, I’m constantly embattled in the struggle for high style at a low price. Not to mention the fact that I spend most of my days clothed in some assemblage of Lycra/Spandex composites.  I love the little luxury that fashion magazines provides: gorgeous spreads, plus well-written editorials about creative subjects? I’m always ready. With the September issue, there’s always more to love.  Like, 800 pages.  I was so excited to get my Vogue that I had my mom send it cross country. You know you’re in love when…(Note: my favorites are Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, but with the wealth of fashion tomes on the market, there’s something for every taste!)
3) Joy the Baker
9781401310608_p0_v1_s260x420
Read It If You’re Craving: tons of delicious recipes for comforting sweets, all with little twists to keep life interesting.
Why I Love It: This one’s on my wish list, but I had a chance to page through it at the bookstore and developed a deep love affair with the recipes in here. Joy has such a natural and friendly approach to baking, and injects humor into it–I love that in a cookbook!  Very reminiscent of The Pioneer Woman. Her pictures are also beautiful to look at.  I love getting a little photography style with my desserts. I get my daily treat from Joy’s blog, but I can’t wait to have this book on my shelf…and I’m sure my friends can’t wait for all the delicious treats in their future, either.

What My Coffee Addiction Says About Me

ImageOkay, so “addiction” is probably too strong a word. I don’t know if I can call my usual two cups a day compulsory, at this point. But the truth remains: I am a coffee lover.  My go-to cup is dark, dark roast (Sumatra from Starbucks is my usual) with vanilla creamer at home. But when I go to the coffee shop, my tastes are constantly evolving.

I love this article from Levo League about what your typical drink says about you! I think I’ve moved through most of these options.  When I first started Starbucksing, around 7th grade, frappucinos were the only way to go (God, when I think back to all of those venti java chip fraps I consumed…oof. Good thing I had something resembling a metabolism.)  Then, as I transitioned into a more demanding high school career, white chocolate mochas provided my sweet fix with a little extra coffee jolt. And then I began my healthy revolution. This curbed my sweet coffee addiction a little bit; I transitioned into the world of the skinny and sugar-free lattes, where I still return from time to time (I’m so, so excited for my first Cinnamon Dolce latte of the fall!)

This summer, I’ve gone even more purist: in the blazingly hot days of running from work to workouts, my little energy jolt was usually an iced coffee with a bit of skim milk and a touch of Splenda. Sweet without the calories, and an energy jolt to boot! 

Of the profiles listed on Levo League, I think the vanilla latte description fits me best:

Image

Skinny Vanilla Latte: You’re classic, but you like to have fun. You know what you like, and you’ve been drinking it for years. Sure, you’ll try out the season’s “must-wear” fashions, but you’ll mix them sparingly with your tried-and-true investment pieces. If it’s not broken, why fix it? Building and maintaining personal relationships is one of your strengths, so it was a no-brainer for you to manage your company’s external communications.

What does your drink say about you?