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 ūüôā
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!

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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!

J. Crew Holiday Catalog…or, all I want for Christmas

My J. Crew holiday catalogue arrived today, and with it, a dismal study of my bank account and the realization of the fact that these beautiful sartorial pieces are a few years out of my reach at this point.

As much as I would love to drop all my paychecks on the glorious felted coats and patent leather ballet flat confections, I will, alas, be forced to waste my money on such discretionary spending as groceries and gas. Ah, this unfair mortal coil.

Here are a few of my favorite picks that will surely be at the top of my list…you know, as soon as my first best selling novel sells.

Fair Isle Leggings

Fair isle leggings

What’s prettier, comfier, or simpler than leggings in a cute pattern?

Double-cloth Metro Coat

Double-cloth metro coat with Thinsulate¬ģ

I adore the color, and the cut is to die for. Makes me think of beautiful chilled afternoons wandering the city!

Fair Isle Striped and Jeweled Sweater

Jeweled Fair Isle stripe sweater

A gorgeous mix of my favorite pattern and the most beautiful embellishment ever! In love.

Vintage Short Sleeve Pajama Set

Vintage short-sleeve pajama set

Absolutely comfy and cosy. Light enough for the summer, but with a sweater, this set makes the perfect winter loungewear.

Everly Cap Pump with Metallic Bow

Everly cap toe pumps with patent bow

Be still my heart. The most perfect pair of pumps I’ve ever seen.¬† I’m always game for a shoe that can transition between the audition room and the board room.

What’s on your Christmas dream wish list?

Another Year Older

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I turned 21 on Monday! I’ve been having to remind myself that I am, in fact, now 21 ever since. I love that feeling of birthdays: you always expect to wake up and the world will have shifted, something will be illuminated. You’ll be another year older, and another year wiser. Usually, that doesn’t happen. But with 21, I have to admit, I¬†do feel a little different.

As a society, we build up this birthday so much. Visions of drunken debauchery danced in my head as I planned my quiet, small gatherings with friends. ¬†I even had the thought: am I doing this wrong? ¬†Wow. That is how permeated we’ve become with the idea of a crazy, wild 21st. My friends, thankfully, reminded me that it was my birthday. I could spend it in any way that I saw fit.

So we had a fall celebration, complete with popcorn, candy corn, orange dark chocolate, and homemade dark chocolate yogurt brownies. There might even have been some hot cocoa with Baileys.

I am excited for this year. 20 brought challenges in many forms. 21 is sure to bring more. But I feel like I’m finally beginning to know myself. Even when I don’t know exactly what I want, I can recognize that I’m on a journey, and the present moment is just as important as the coming ones.

I’ll be posting my Bucketlist for Age 21 soon!

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

 

 

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!

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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?

A Healthy Monday

Somehow, yesterday turned into the most fit day of my life.

That’s an exageration. But still.¬†

I began the day with a three and a half mile run. I don’t really like running in the morning; I feel like I’m zombie walking if I haven’t had my coffee and breakfast. But that’s almost the only option I have for outdoor running here in the city, because after nine o’clock, the temp increases to 10th circle of hell level and the sun could be used to fry eggs. Not a conducive running environment.

So I dragged my butt out of bed, and got a nice distance out of the way. ¬†Definitely gave me a little burst of energy to start the day! I went to class and work, accomplished a lot, and had a fairly good time. But mostly, I was excited to get home and make dinner…because I was finally going to unlock the secrets of the Protein Pancake.

 

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How delicious do these look?

I’m not a huge pancake fan, but these are made up of oatmeal, banana, and topped with whatever you like…all for low calorie and high nutritional value. Honestly, what’s not to love? I’ve put off making them because the amount of recipes was a little overwhelming, but I finally decided on one from FitSugar¬†to build off of.

Here’s the basic recipe and directions:

Healthy Oatmeal Pancakes for One:

1/4 cup instant oatmeal
1/4 cup egg substitute (or 2 egg whites) (I used the egg whites)
1/2 of a really really ripe banana, mashed
1/4 teaspoon baking powder¬†(I used a tiny, tiny pinch of baking soda because I didn’t have the powder…nothing blew up!)
1 packet of sweetener¬†(I don’t really like artificial sweetener in baked goods, so I used about a teaspoon of brown sugar)
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water, milk, or juice¬†(I used water, and couldn’t taste a difference!)

To make your pancake, simply combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl. ¬†I mashed the bananas well before adding them, and then stirred the ingredients together with a fork to continue the mashing process. ¬†You don’t want extra lumps in there if you can help it…the bananas are sort of the stick-together agent here. ¬†You can add anything to these pancakes! Next time, I think I might add a little sin with some chocolate chips. Other suggestions: raisins or craisins, blueberries, strawberries, more chunks of banana with some peanut butter, Nutella…the options are endless, and these provide a nice hearty base for anything.

Pour the mix into the center of a hot pan. This is a crucial point: use SOMETHING to coat the pan. Pam, a little bit of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, or even a bit of the real deal. ¬†I didn’t use enough, and my non-stick pan soon became a little bit of an ooey gooey burnt oatmeal mess.¬†

Cook on medium heat, for about three minutes per side. ¬†Watch it carefully–these pancakes are VERY easy to burn, but they are also easily left super runny in the middle. ¬†It’s a balancing act. ¬†While it may seem too gooey to flip (I was very concerned), everything stuck together at just about the same consistency as a real pancake! ¬†Cook till a nice golden brown.

Plate and top however you like! These would be great with syrup, but I’m not a huge syrup fan (sacrilege, I know.) I put a little bit of peanut butter that I’d nuked in the microwave for a few seconds to make it soft on top, and it was amaaazing–and added some protein in there.

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Mmmm oatmeal!

Here’s a pic of my pancake on the griddle…before it turned into a bit of a burned mess. I’d give it a 0 for looks, but a 9 for taste! Excited to play more with this recipe.

After dinner, I ran to my first hot yoga class in a month. And it was HARD. Especially after that morning run. ¬†I was feeling all my muscles for sure. Even though it was a difficult class, I still love that vibe you get when you finish: yoga warrior, capable of all kinds of feats of flexibility! It was lovely, and I’m so excited to continue my practice.

On the way home, I stopped by the new protein smoothie place by our school that has been drawing rave reviews from all my sisters, in order to do an interview for the student paper. ¬†I was very skeptical of the protein smoothie as a meal replacement racket, and I still harbor some reservations…but I have to say, after sampling that Reeses’ Herbalife shake? I might be a new customer. It definitely won’t replace fruits and veggies, but might be a welcome sweet indulgence!

 

 

 

 

Things I love…back to school edition!

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1. Pineapple Jellies (and other school snacks) from Undressed Skeleton
Delicious and nutritious…and not super difficult to make! These would be great for afternoons where you just need something sweet, but don’t want to go overboard.

2. Toy Story Alien Bento Box lunch and other cute Disney ideas from Spoonful.com
¬†Necessary? No. ¬†But adorable? yes. ¬†Why can’t you get a dose of cuteness with your nutrition?

3. Easy slow cooker oatmeal from Shape Magazine
Only thing I love more than slow cooker cooking? Oatmeal.  My absolute jam.

4. Hot pink hunter boots
Every year, I tell myself that I need to buy rain boots. Usually as I’m trucking through the third or fourth monsoon of the season. ¬†This year, I’m gonna try to be proactive.

5. Cosy tribal sweater
I am always freezing, so a sweater that I can throw on top of any outfit is always a plus.  I love all of these tribal styles that are in this fall! Super cute, and super comfy.

6. Classy carry-all
I love bags of all shapes and sizes, but I aspire to carry a classy tote like this one.  Pink and white chevrons? Sign me up!

7. Sparkly mason jar
Mason jars.  So many uses, so little time.  I love the idea of making one super glittery to adorn your bathroom sink! Better than shoving random brushes in a drawer, as I am wont to do.

8. Welcoming door wreath
So sweet and welcoming! I have been trying to decide what to do with my door all summer, but this mixture of burlap and polka dots is adorable!

9. Sweet tulle garland
I have decided that I do not have enough pink in my apartment at this point (why be a grown up till you have to, right?), so I am absolutely going to be making this easy tulle garland.  The directions are super simple, and the outcome looks absolutely perfect for hanging up over a window or a doorway!

What are you excited about this back to school season?

A Pair for all seasons

A Pair for all seasons

Kate spade
katespade.com

Kate spade
couture.zappos.com

Kate spade
couture.zappos.com

Kate Spade pearl jewelry
couture.zappos.com

Kate spade
piperlime.gap.com

Kate spade
couture.zappos.com

Kate spade
couture.zappos.com

Kate spade
couture.zappos.com

Getting a summer job paycheck after a year of going to college is a very, very beautiful thing.¬† But it can also prove disastrous.¬† Suddenly, you have MONEY.¬† While you don’t actually need that cute little fedora hat at Target…you could totally afford it.¬† See what I mean? Slippery slope.
This especially comes in to play with sales items.¬† Whenever I see a sale sign, the sensible part of my brain switches off, and the part that says “Oh! Good deal!” turns on.¬† Even though it might be $180, if it’s on sale, I might consider it.
All of this being said, I am a very frugal person, and usually don’t buy anything unless I feel that I really, strongly need it. Which usually ends in me rushing out shopping the day before it is absolutely essential that I have an item. Obviously my philosophy works well.¬† All of that frugality was swept out of my head when I saw the jewelry on sale at the Kate Spade website.¬† Those earrings! How could I say no to all those beautiful, perfect little pairs of earrings?
I’m an earring junky, and these are not good for my habit.¬† All of the pairs above will go with any outfit, and instantly make it more fun.¬† I would love to have any pair of them…but I have to admit, I’m especially fond of those pearls hanging from bows and the fuschia, orange, and coral studs.¬† Will I be buying a pair for myself soon? Alas, even at excellent sale prices…probably not.¬† But will they be going on my birthday/Christmas wish lists?¬† Bet your bottom dollar.

Wearing Tennis Shoes at Work

Odd title for¬†a post? Probably.¬† But I’ve been thinking about this a lot for the past two days, as I was told by the doctor to wear only tennis shoes for the next two weeks, to¬†provide extra support to my foot.¬† I never wear tennis shoes. Ever. I’m always in wedge sandals, flip flops, boots, ballet flats…but I cannot remember the last time I actually wore tennis shoes out somewhere to go with an outfit.¬†

That’s not to say I don’t love my running shoes. I ADORE them.¬† They are hot pink and gorgeous and pretty and, more importantly, have supported my newly athletic feet for a year and a half.¬† I’m probably getting nostalgic, because I’m going to buy new ones next week.¬† It’s just time. Sorry babies, it’s not you, it’s me.¬† And my probably-not-stress-fractured foot.

Sigh.

Anyway, back to wearing them at work.¬† Despite the love I have for these very cool shoes…no, I do not like wearing them to work. Or out in public.¬† At all. It’s kind of like the aversion I feel to wearing sweat pants in public.¬† Do I like how comfy they are?¬† Of course.¬† Do I really care what other people think? No! Or do I? I was wondering that today, as I changed my outfit plan for the third time to something that wouldn’t look bizarre with my shoes (skirts, most shorts, and skinny jeans are out for the next two weeks, apparently).¬† I was struggling and getting frustrated and then I realized, Why should I care?

I’m not going to care.¬†

I love getting dressed up and looking nice.¬† I think it’s important to look your best and put your best foot forward.¬† But do I care if some guy I’m never going to see again after this summer thinks it looks weird that I’m wearing Tiffany blue shorts with pink Nikes?¬† Nope.¬† Not gonna let it bug me.¬† There are so many other things to worry about in this world, I’m not going to waste another minute thinking about these shoes.¬† And hopefully, they are steering my foot towards a full recovery so I can get back to running soon! That’s better than any outfit compliment I could ever get.