Better With Sprinkles

The Colourful Side to Healthy Living.


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freEDom: Love Myself First.

So last week, I was reading Sloane’s contribution to her freEDom From Perfection campaign about body checking, and it inspired my own post today.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a huge body checker. More specifically, for years whenever I was alone with a mirror, I would pull my shirt up to see how much my stomach stuck out.

This picture I had on Sunday’s post?

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A year or so ago, I never would have had the balls to post that on the internet.

I have an “apple” body shape, so my body tends to store fat on my stomach. I’ve always been extremely aware and incredibly self-conscious of that fact. Even at 10-11 years old, I desperately wished that all that “excess” on my stomach would just GO AWAY. I’ve gone to great lengths to hide my little stomach bump, and I know I would have had a massive issue with displaying what I’ve always considered to be my greatest physical imperfection on the internet. We are our own worst critics, aren’t we?

When I started therapy several years ago, I knew body checking was one of my worst habits that needed to be broken. Every time I went to inspect my stomach, I needed something to remind me that I didn’t need to do that. So, this is what I did:

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Every time I go to check out how far my stomach is sticking out over my jeans, this is what I see.

It reminds me that it’s not necessary.

My body is my body, and I’m learning to accept its imperfections and show myself unconditional self-love. I’m not yet at the point of total acceptance, but I am hoping to get there. Really, do I need a flat stomach in order to be happy? Of course not. And dieting and restricting myself to a six-pack won’t do anything for my happiness either. Of course, I wouldn’t complain if it flattened out a little bit (who would?) but I’m not going to base my life and my happiness around it. I’m not going to deny myself when I have a craving or kill myself at the gym in an attempt to get a flat stomach– it’s not worth it to me.

I still do body-check on occasion, but I have made great strides with accepting what I see. My body is not perfect, but it’s the only one I get. While there’s parts of it I love, I’m working on loving the parts that make me insecure as well.

<— Do you have tattoos? Would you consider getting one?

<— How do you learn to accept the less-than-perfect parts?

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freEDom: Sam 1, Scale: 0.

It’s Tuesday!

One of my favourite blogging days, courtesy of the beautiful Sloane.

So one day last week, I was at the treadmill in the gym, getting ready to do some interval work. With the way that my gym is set up, I had the big gym scale right in front of me.

At this particular moment, there was a group of five girls gathered around the scale. I watched each one as they stepped up to the scale, a nervous look on their face. As they moved the weight bit by bit to the right, I watched the looks on their faces change to one of absolute dismay.

Afterwards, they all compared each other’s results. “That can’t be right!” and “I’ve gained weight!”

One girl announced: “Usually I weigh (insert perfectly healthy weight for a young adult woman) but right now I’m FAT, so I weigh (insert a weight that’s three pounds heavier than first weight given).”

There are no words for how sad this makes me. It’s depressing how three pounds makes the difference between “normal” and “fat” for this girl. And really, if the scale hadn’t told her that she had gained three pounds, would she have noticed? It’s depressing how much value and how much emotion was behind the number that this scale was spitting out.

Of course, this makes me thing about scales, and numbers, and why we put so much value on them.

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Of course, during my ED I was an absolute slave to this little beast (yes, I’ve had it for years and never bothered to take the stickers off). I would weigh myself first thing in the morning, and sometimes at night too. I would feel nothing but pride when it went down, and nothing but shame and despair when the number went up.

Even during recovery, I would weigh myself weekly to “make sure my weight was going up.” Of course, whenever it stayed or the same (or went down), I would scold myself and say that I was going to try harder next week, but deep down knowing I felt nothing but pride.

Eventually, I told my mom to hide the scale. I knew it was hurting me mentally and hindering my process, so I couldn’t have it around me. She did, and I didn’t weigh myself for a long time – years. I got to my current weight, and held it for a while; not having any idea what that number was.

When I felt ready, I brought the scale back out. I needed to learn how to accept the weight I was at, without feeling obsessive over it. When I first saw the number, I was disappointed, I was dismayed. But I accepted that this was my healthy weight, and I moved on.

Now? I still have the scale in my bathroom. Currently, I’m hopping on it once every four weeks as part of my stats for my workout program. For the first time, I’m hoping that the number goes UP – Because that would mean that I’m gaining muscle, which is my goal. But really, no matter what the scale says, I’m not losing sleep over it.

I realize now that a mechanical device that spits numbers at me has no effect on my value as a human being. It does NOT matter! Really, would I rather my gravestone tell the world “She died at x amount of pounds” rather than a memory, or a beautiful quote…anything more meaningful than that? Of course not! (I apologize of that’s morbid, but that’s how I see it).

I really wanted to tell those girls that the number did not matter and did not change who they are as a person. I didn’t (not sure how well random stranger-advice would have gone over) so I’m telling you guys instead. Do not let a small piece of machinery have power over you! If you can’t handle knowing your weight, get rid of the scale. Smash it. Throw it away. Get someone to hide it. If you can know it without it affecting your happiness, than that’s awesome. Just don’t let it dictate your worth, ok?

 

And to end on a more festive note…

Jenny‘s Christmas Blogger Challenge!

My favourite holiday tradition: watching Christmas movies with my dad! We have the same favourites, so we always make sure to have a Christmas movie night. Since I’ve moved, I’m not sure when it’ll happen (it may end up being Christmas day) but it’ll happen!

<— Where do you stand on the scale issue?

<— Any holiday traditions in your family?


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freEDom: Enjoying Christmas For All It’s Worth.

As we get closer and closer to Christmas, Sloane’s campaign becomes even more important to me.

For anyone who’s ever had an eating disorder, holidays are difficult. Thinking about all the food, parties and busy-ness (so you can’t fit in workouts) is enough to drive you insane. Even if you’ve never suffered, I think it’s very easy to have a lot of anxiety and apprehension this time of year.

For several years, I secretly dreaded the holiday season. I knew I’d be surrounded by holidays treats, I would inevitably eat some, and feel so overwhelmed with guilt I wouldn’t even know how to handle it. I hit my absolute lowest weight a few weeks after Christmas one year – I couldn’t deal with the guilt and anxiety surrounding what I had eaten over the holidays (and in hindsight, it was not much at all) so my restriction got even worse.

Thinking about that now, and thinking about how many people worry about their food intake over the holidays really just makes me sad. There’s so much bombardment of “How to Eat Healthy Over the Holiday Season!” and “Your Holiday Party Survival Guide!” They tell us to have a snack before we go to a party, fill up on crudités, avoid the cookies, avoid the appetizers, avoid the eggnog, avoid this, avoid that.

You know what?

No.

It’s ridiculous. The holiday season is absolutely meant to be enjoyed. The idea that we need to “survive” the holidays is just plain wrong. When I think of survival, I think of zombies, (Yes, Walking Dead-obsessed. And depressed that I have to wait until February to see more) I think of camouflage gear, I think of being stranded on an island somewhere. I do NOT think of Christmas cookies and I don’t think you should either.

So…I’m looking forward to the holidays and everything that goes along with it. I have 2 holiday lunches and one party this week. Over Christmas itself, I’ve got at least three dinners planned. I have a list of cookies and desserts that I want to bake. I’m thinking about what drinks I should make for New Years.

My freEDom this week? I refuse to feel any sort of apprehension, anxiety or fear regarding the holidays. I’m thoroughly excited for all the good eats and parties that are going to be happening. I refuse to restrict, I refuse to strategize, and I refuse to deny myself. I plan on enjoying whatever Christmas cookies come my way this year. My focus is going to be on spending time with people that I love, not about how many calories I’m going to eat. I’m planning on taking the week of Christmas off from formal exercise all together, so I have more time to focus on family and our celebrations.

Now that sounds like a good Christmas, don’t you think?. Smile

Day 4

Christmas Challenge time! I’m really loving it, thanks for putting it together Jenny!

So…favourite Christmas song. This one is pretty easy, actually.

A few years ago, my parents organized a huge trip for family and friends to take a bus up to Hamilton to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra. There was about 25 of us in total – it was amazing. It was actually the second time I’d seen the show, and both times it was incredible.

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Amazing.

And I secretly wanted to learn how to play the violin after that.

So naturally, my favourite Christmas song is their rendition of “Carol of the Bells.”

Cause metal guitars = Christmas. Open-mouthed smile

<— Are you with me in my “no guilt” Christmas?

<— Have you seen Trans Siberian Orchestra before?