The Power of Music

Happy Wednesday lovelies!
So this post is dedicated to the magic that is music. I’m not sure about you, but listening to a great song can lift my mood in an INSTANT. I noticed it today when I was driving around in the car. I was in a bit of a crappy mood, super tired and feeling blah, then a remix of the song ‘I’m an Albatraoz’ came on the radio. If you’re in need of a pump up, go listen to it right now. Seriously, do it.

So this got me thinking how much music had the power to make my workouts better. I struggled through my Arms & Abs Workout this morning, a lot of time giving up and

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taking breaks when I know I could have pushed myself harder. I find that MENTALLY I give up, before I PHYSICALLY have to. This is something I struggle with frequently. In fact it reminds me a lot of my struggles with bingeing, and the stuff I learned from ‘Brain Over Binge’ (see previous post). My brain tells me I can’t do it, so I just agree and stop.

Now I know if I want to keep improving myself, I need to push past these urges telling me stop. I honestly believe music to be a huge key in this. I listen to the ‘Cardio’ Playlist on Spotify and it’s pretty good but can sometimes be hit and miss with songs that really get me going…

This is a list of songs that NEVER fail to pump me up and help me pound out a workout:

  • Ugly Heart – G.R.L.
  • We Found Love – Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris
  • Run the World (Girls) – Beyonce
  • Hideaway – Kieza
  • Blood on the Dance Floor – Michael Jackson
  • The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson (Pretty much anything Michael Jackson haha LOVE HIM)
  • Break the Rules – Charlie XCX
  • Uptown Funk – Bruno Mars
  • Guilty as Sin – Dan Tilevski
  • Summertime Sadness Remix – Lana Del Ray (and pretty much any LDR remix)
  • Shimmer – Fuel

I’d love to hear yours! I’m always looking for new songs to pump me up pre-workout!

xx Liv

“Music is therapy. Music moves people. It connects people in ways that no other medium can. It pulls heart strings. It acts as medicine.”

-Macklemore

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The fine line between ‘eating clean’ and disordered eating

Since starting the K2 Movement on Monday, I’ve been struggling with what to do for my meals. One large part of me wants to make myself up an eating plan – deciding when and what I can eat during the day. Now this wouldn’t be depriving myself at all, I would make sure I was getting the right amount of every food group, and enough so to keep my full and satisfied. That being said, I’m not sure if this is my eating disordered brain trying to trick me back into dieting. I could see my ‘clean eating’, although it has totally good intentions now, turning into something more. jpeg

I would ideally love to be able to eat intuitively, when and whatever I wanted. I’m just not sure if I am at that place yet.

Most of you have probably heard of Orthorexia. The National Eating Disorders website defines it as such:

“Orthorexia starts out as an innocent attempt to eat more healthfully, but orthorexics become fixated on food quality and purity.  They become consumed with what and how much to eat, and how to deal with “slip-ups.” “

url-2I constantly feel like there is always an ED just lurking behind the next corner, waiting for me to let it in. That’s when I have to remember that I AM the one in control. I recently read the book ‘Brain Over Binge’ by Kathryn Hansen. I put this as a MUST read for those dealing with binges (bulimia, binge eating disorder, etc.). The gist of the book is that we have the power to re-wire our brains, so as to not need to binge. It all comes down to us. We have the ability to say no to a binge, just like we have the ability to say no to returning to our eating disordered ways. We are in the driver’s seat.

Knowing this, I’ve decided what’s best for me it to allow myself lots of lenience in my diet. From reading Kayla’s HELP guide, I know the amount of servings of each food group I should be getting. I will roughly try to eat that each day. I will NOT by any means, count calories, or get upset should I not reach all the food groups (or if I overshoot), as this is life and there always needs to be room for slip ups.

So now I leave the question to whoever’s reading this – What do you think is best? Should someone recovering from an eating disorder follow a structured eating plan?

xx Liv

“Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom.”

– Marilyn Ferguson

The K2 Movement

So I’m not sure if any of you have heard of The Kayla Movement? If you haven’t check it out here. Just a warning – prepare to be amazed and to spend hours looking through transformation pictures.

IMG_1229_1024x1024Kayla is a personal trainer from Australia who has created both a workout and nutrition guide for girls to follow in order to get their ideal body. Now, I’m usually hesitant about these kinds of things… Many times it is just my ED driving me to find ‘the next best thing’ or the ‘quickest way to lose weight’. This program is different however. Every girl doing it, is doing it solely to chase the best and healthiest version of themselves. Girls who are recovering from anorexia and trying to gain weight, girls trying to tone up and feel stronger, and girls with the main goal of losing weight or fat. However, everyone of the girls doing this guide seems to share one common goal: HEALTH.

The entire focus of this program is balance. Good nutrition without deprivation, and exercise that fits into any schedule. image-5_1024x1024

Now ‘The Kayla Movement’ started 3 months ago, where girls around the globe started the bikini body guide on the same day, and so were able to support each other and cheer one another on. What a great thing! If you’re sad that you missed out on this… don’t worry! ‘The K2 Movement’ is starting tomorrow (April 6th)!  The support on social media sites such as instagram is incredible for this program.

So I guess the point of this post was to let you know I plan on joining in on the K2 Movement starting tomorrow, also attempting to follow the HELP (healthy eating) plan. However, I will NOT deprive myself in any way. I know in ED recovery, intuitive eating and listening to your body is SO important!

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I’m taking my ‘Before’ pictures tonight (how terrifying), and plan to take one every Sunday night for the course of the 3 months. On my blog I will keep up to date what I’m doing for exercise weekly, and any results I’m seeing.

For those interested in joining in on the movement I highly recommend you make a fitness account on instagram and immerse yourself in the bbg community. It’s pretty incredible to feel a part of, not going to lie. Don’t hesitate to look me up @livlaughlunge and add me, I’ll do all I can to support you in your journey!

So who’s doing the #thek2movement with me?! Good luck ladies!

xx Liv

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”

– Jim Rohn

Eating Disorders and Relationships

url-1I’m not sure about all you… but for me, it has been near impossible to maintain a stable relationship with my eating disorder. “Eating disorders, by nature, are a mental illness characterized by isolation and separation” (Barges, 2014). Nothing to me rings more true than that sentence. Whereas outsiders see EDs as a preoccupation with weight and body, they don’t realize the depth of it. Really, the aspect of weight is just a tiny (if not the smallest) portion of it. Suffering from an eating disorder I always felt unworthy. Too fat, too ugly, too stupid, too everything, and so I was never good enough to deserve love and relationships. Looking back now I see that because of that I always would sabotage them, ruining all relationships before they even had a chance to start.

I would temporarily try and push these feelings aside – seeking approval from men. If a man wanted me than I must have been doing okay, I was desirable and that felt good. Yet I was and still am so scared of sex, mostly the act of actually being NAKED in front of another person. Even at my lowest weight, I could never feel completely comfortable with someone else seeing my body. I wanted so badly to be WANTED by men, but once I got their attention I didn’t know what to do with it.

I fell in love with this passage from Psychology today:

“Being carefree about sex is generally the desired state of affairs.  So, how can a person with an eating disorder who has major trust issues, body image distortion, demands perfection from herself, coupled with a desire to please and accommodate others at the expense of herself be in a situation which necessitates letting go – risking being out of control?  Not easy.”

There is so much truth in this. And sex aside, to just BE in a relationship involves letting go. You need to trust that the other person will love you despite your flaws. I struggled with this the most. Even in my longest relationship I still felt I could never be myself, always striving to be ‘exactly who he wanted’. That’s not fair to him or me, as in the end it just wasted both of our time.

At the moment I am single, and weirdly enough… I am okay with it. I’ve decided the best thing for ME right now is to be alone. I loved how Jenni Schaefer in her book ‘Goodbye Ed, Hello Me’ writes that she is married to herself, even taking vows to love and cherish herself. Really, if we can’t love ourselves than how can we expect to love someone else, and believe that they love us in return? Take the time to figure out who you are, and don’t ever feel the need to suppress that for anyone or any relationship.

In the end, the only person that you can guarantee will always be there is YOU.

xx Liv

“To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself.”
Simone de Beauvoir

References:

Chrystal Karges (2014). How Eating Disorders Can Affect Relationships. 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/when-food-is-family/201406/sexual-satisfaction-and-eating-disorders

Who am I without my Eating Disorder?

IMG_4069This is the question I’ve been struggling the most with lately. When I’ve been defined by so long by my eating and body issues – how can I find out who I really am without them? In the past when I faced any issues I would respond with an attack on my body. Failed a test?  Binge and purge. Get dumped by a boy? Restrict. I have no idea who I am, what I like, or where I see my life going. I have been wrapped up so long in thoughts of weight loss, body image and food.

How do i start from scratch to find out who I  really am?

I imagine this is a very common concern for those recovering from an ED. It’s no longer a safety blanket, it’s something we have to leave behind. I’m sure you have all seen that

url cliché picture about leaving your comfort zone to allow ‘the magic to happen’? No? Let me refresh your memories…

Now I think this is so substantial in ED recovery. Despite the fact that we are ‘sick’, that sickness is a comfort to us. For the last 12 years of my life, being ‘sick’ has been my norm. To be healthy is what is out of the ordinary for me. However, to truly recover, every piece of literature I have read has told me that I need to push past my limits and MAKE myself uncomfortable. By no means is it going to be easy. In fact it’ll probably be the hardest thing I ever have to do in my life, but god…will it ever be worth it.

Now one of my favorite books to read the past couple years has been ‘Wasted’ by Marya Hornbacher. However, I loved it because I found it insanely triggering. I would read it and absorb the information about weight loss and how sick she got, and want to do the same. TRIGGER WARNING for those with an ED who have never read it, I would not recommend you do. That being said for those who don’t have an ED, it is an amazing look into the eyes of someone who has one, and a great read to help someone to understand the thoughts that can go on in an eating disordered person’s head.

Anyways, now in my recovery when I read these books I try to see them through a different set of eyes. A quote in Marya’s book says; “Never, never underestimate the power of desire. If you want to live badly enough, you can live. The great question, at least for me, was: How do I decide I want to live?”. This is incredibly accurate. Recovering from an ED means making the choice between living a long healthy live, or dying a short, slow painful one. It is all about CHOICE. Making that choice every. single. day. to eat your meals, talk to your friends and loved ones about your struggles, and not isolate yourself from the rest of the world.

The only way we can discover who we really are without our Eating Disorders is to get out and live our lives.

I’m going to go and do just that. How about you?

xx Liv

“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.'”

– Mary Anne Radmacher

Gluten Free Pumpkin Power Bars

I modified this recipe from natural vitality, see here

cookies

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Serves: 15 large bars, or 24 smaller

Ingredients:

Wet

4 eggs

1 cup pureed pumpkin

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tbsp almond milk

1 tbsp vanilla

Dry

1/2 cup coconut flour

5 tbsp protein powder

3 tbsp Unflavored Natural Calm (magnesium supplement)

1/4 cup milled flax seed

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp cloves

pinch of sea salt

Drizzle

2 oz dark chocolate

coconut oil

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 375˚F, line two baking sheets with parchment paper (I made the mistake of not doing this and they were a bit of a mess to get off once I drizzled the chocolate)

2. Combine wet ingredients in a large bowl

3. Whisk together dry ingredients. Make sure you are using an unflavored protein powder, or one that you don’t mind your bars tasting like – I made the mistake of using strawberry (still not terrible!).

4. Once combined, add dry ingredients to wet and let sit for 5 minutes to thicken. Will have a spongy like texture.

5. This next part is completely your own prerogative. The original instructions say to scoop 1/3 cup of mixture per bar… I found these bars to be very big. So scoop out sizes to your liking and arrange on baking sheets. It seems easiest to shape the bars once you put the mix on the sheet.

6. Bake bars for 22 – 25 minutes. The bottom of the bars should be golden, and a toothpick comes out clean. They are still quite soft.

7. Allow bars to cool on pan for at least 5 minutes.

8. In the meantime, whip out some chocolate drizzle. I took 2 oz of dark chocolate with a touch of coconut oil and microwaved it. Stir constantly to avoid burning the chocolate.

9. Take a spoon and drizzle the chocolate over the top of the bars.

10. Lastly, I let my bars set in the freezer.

11. ENJOY!

‘It happened so fast’

Today was Monday and almost a new month. I woke up with a desire to ‘start fresh’ and get my recovery rolling. I make a smoothie, feel like I ate too much, then the next thing I know, the smoothie has turned into a muffin, three pieces of toast, and two bowls of rice slathered in butter.

“It happened so fast, I couldn’t stop it”

That’s what i say to myself every time. Turning my ED into this outside force that MAKES me shove the food into my mouth. I’m helpless against him…

However, this is not true. It wasn’t Ed that made me eat those things. It was me, Olivia. I made the choice to have the muffin, and toast the bread, and eat the rice. No one else. I am not powerless against this.

I wish I could say I was. It’s so easier to blame some outside force for your problems then to take them on yourself. But that won’t help anyone trying to recover. I recently read the book ‘Goodbye ED, Hello Me’ by Jenni Schaefer, and one thing that stuck with me from that book is how after a binge it is important do the NEXT RIGHT THING. Now after spending my ‘fresh start’ morning bingeing and purging the last thing I want to do is eat more today – but I know I need to. The next right thing in this situation is to go on with my day. So here I am. I will blog my feelings out, drink my tea, then eat lunch when I get hungry.

It’s terrifying, but recovery is all about taking back the power that you gave away with your eating disorder. No longer can I blame ED for making choices, I need to make them for myself.

xx Liv

“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.”

– Abraham Maslow

Chaos

It’s been a while since I posted. I guess this post is just more than anything for me to get my thoughts down and out of my head. The last couple weeks have been a whirlwind. My parents found out I wasn’t working full-time like they thought I were, and the depth of my eating disorder really began to become apparent to them. on Monday of last week they ended up taking me to the E.R. as I was suicidal. I had spent the entire weekend in my room, only coming out to binge and purge multiple times a day. I had lost all hope that things would get better.

That being said… things ARE getting better. Getting to the ER got me some steps in the right direction as to getting into and eating disorder clinic. My parents and I also made the decision for me to move back home. I feel safe here. At this state I’m in, I just can’t trust myself living alone.. it’s as simple as that. I hope one day soon I can, but right now I know that I can’t.

So since moving home, I have sort of put everything on hold in order to benefit my recovery. I was supposed to start a new job today, but ended up quitting. This is what I always do.. I try to push myself through something (new job, school, etc.) and my recovery gets put on the back burner. I don’t want that to happen this time. I want to feel 100% and healthy and happy before returning to work. I need to have good coping skills and feel stronger, right now I’m just not there.

So I guess a big part of me feels like I’ve taken so many steps backwards now. Moving home, not working, broke, list goes on… but I am trying to remember to take this one day at a time. It really has not been that long since I committed myself to recover, and I need to take some time to truly do just that.

Hope you’re having a lovely week

xx Liv

“If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down.”

— Mary Pickford

The climb back after relapse

Started today with some oatmeal in bed. It was so hard to resist the urge to not eat breakfast. I felt so bloated and sick and gross this morning, and every part of me responds to that feeling with thinking ‘don’t eat’ and ‘undo the damage’. image3That being said, I ate, it didn’t turn into a binge, and I kept it down. Maybe a tiny milestone but in my mind this is a big step. I think I’ve finally turned the switch in my head. I KNOW that I need to recover, and I know that to do that I can no longer try to lose weight. I need to give up my obsession with my weight and my body, and instead focus solely on getting myself healthy. It won’t be easy by any means… but in the end this will be worth it.

After breakfast I had an appointment with my psychiatrist. My family doctor had called him and got me in for an ‘urgent appointment’. My psychiatrist is such a nice man and I can tell he truly wants to help me. At the end of my appointment we agreed I should go back on my antidepressants. Fluoxetine (prozac) to be exact. This drug is researched in the treatment of bulimia, and so he thinks it’ll only add to my recovery, along with therapy and all the steps I’m taking on my own. As much as I wanted to do this without meds – I agree that this is for the best. I will keep my experience with the higher dose of prozac documented on this blog as well (or try my best to).

So today is all about getting myself back on track. I know there’s not much food in the house so at some point today I’m going to have to go and pick up some things from the grocery store. For snacks, I will have an apple, pickled asparagus and lots of tea. For lunch I’ll probably grab something like a salad from the grocery store, and for dinner I’ll make a chicken stir-fry.

image1As for now, I’ll drink some freshly juiced beets and focus on staying positive 🙂

xx Liv

“There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn’t matter anymore.”

-Laurie Halse Anderson

Slip ups

So these past couple days have been hard. So goddamn hard. I’ve had a couple slip ups and it’s so upsetting – it makes me feel like I’ll never actually recover. How many times have I done this? Tried to recover, eat ‘normally’, only to fall back into old ways and get even sicker than ever.

That being said… I know I haven’t been being totally honest in trying to get myself better. I find still when I’m on my own I go back to eating less. Things like eating breakfast seem so hard and pointless for me. Yet when I get too hungry… I binge. It’s just a fact and has been proven by me time and time again.

My other triggers these past couple days:

  • Feeling so gross (weight-wise). I don’t even want to leave the house or my room or be seen by anyone. Canceling plans and falling back into my old ways of avoiding.
  • Stomach pain and bloating. Not to mention other digestive issues…
  • Loneliness and sadness.

I told my parents about one of my slip ups and I could hear how disappointed they were. It broke my heart. I should be trying harder to get better for them. I know I should. A part of me thinks that I should just move home so they can watch me 24/7. Yet, that isn’t really recovering… I need to learn to do this on my own. I’m just not too sure I can to be honest.

So what are my plans to bounce back from this slip up?

  1. Absolutely NO more skipping of meals. None at all.
  2. Call my parents WHENEVER I feel the urge. This is the hardest one for me… it’s hard to admit I need help. And it’s awkward, uncomfortable and embarrassing. I need to do it though.
  3. No booze or caffeine. Both of these are too tied hand in hand with my ED. I need to let these crutches go, and the only way I can do that is going cold turkey.
  4. NO purging after a binge. Purging gives me an excuse to binge (‘oh it’s okay, I can just get it out’). Hopefully once I stop the purging, the bingeing will also come in time.
  5. Try to get outside for a walk at least once a day. I know exercise and sunshine makes me feel better.
  6. Find a counselor in my home town.

I’m going to move forward. I won’t let this stop me from getting better. I absolutely cannot let it.

xx Liv

“You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down”

– Mary Pickford