Not disordered enough? [NEDA week]

While I might not live in the US I’m not oblivious to the fact it is once more National Eating Disorders Awareness [NEDA] week. Like I mentioned last year I wish this was international in anyway because eating disorders [unfortunately] don’t know any borders. They’re taking over lives of people and stealing happiness everywhere on this planet with no end in sight. What we can do, however, is contribute to share our experiences to encourage others struggling to reach out and feel less ashamed as well as help those who never struggled understand the going-ons better.

I’ve been thinking about posting this or not because it’s a huge part of my story [that I have yet to share in its whole]. In the end, I decided to let my thoughts out loud.

Just as a warning ahead: I briefly mention weight and calories so if you feel you might be triggered please skip this post.

  • I didn’t cut out any foods, much less whole food groups. Not disordered enough, right?
  • Sugar has never been the devil for me at any point. Actually, I remember living off semolina pudding cooked in chocolate soy milk for almost every main meal for a short time. Not disordered enough, right?
  • I didn’t exercise for hours on end.  Most of the time, I even took rest days. Not disordered enough, right?
  • I never stopped eating completely. In fact, I never dropped below those magical 1,200 calories. Not disordered enough, right?
  • My lowest BMI was nowhere near the ones of others dangling along the lines of 12, 13 or 14. So, clearly not disordered enough, right?!

Oh, how wrong. I was clearly disordered. If it wasn’t obvious enough from reading those lines that – in one way or another were actually running through my head – I was showing physical signs, too. Anybody but me knew what was going on or had their suspicions.

 

For a long time I saw the skinny people around, the unhealthy behaviours. They all deserved help ASAP in my opinion. Yet I never deemed myself ‘disordered enough’. Was I counting calories? Weighing myself obsessively? Skipping meals? Check, check and check. But still: not severe enough for my [disordered] mind.
I once – at the demand of my parents – attended a therapy group that involved eating with the other patients. And when I wasn’t satisfied at the end of the meal asking for more they told me I couldn’t really be disordered [note that I was at one of my lowest weights at this point!]. See: not disordered enough again.

Yes,there will always be somebody who is even skinnier. Somebody who works out for longer. Somebody who eats less. Maybe even nothing anymore. But: is any of this actually commendable? By far not. Starting recovery ‘too early’ isn’t possible. Too late, however? That sadly is a possibilty.

To those who have never struggled with an ED: I know for a [sad] fact I’m not the only one who had or has those thoughts. It can occur in people at every size. What to you looks like the most obvious sign of the disorder can look like the opposite for the woman [or man] struggling. ED voices aren’t logical. At all. But they can be very powerful and convincing in their non-logical logic. [see above ‘not disordered enough’ examples]

Don’t ever assume – much less tell! - somebody they weren’t disordered enough or make comments on eating disorders without further knowledge of their seriousness.  There is no set weight, BMI or other physical sign to determine how much an ED might influence a person’s mind and overall life. Some disorders can hide for a long time with a lot of damage going on below the surface already. A lot of grey space.

Source

So if you are struggling with food and weight but that voice in your head tells you you weren’t disordered enough: think again. You deserve help. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to live. We all do.

No questions today but I’d love to hear your thoughts on the issue.

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Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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Good good links #79

… and another week bites the dust. I don’t know about you but this week was slightly off for me and simultaneously dragging along and flying by. It makes no sense writing it out but how else to say it? When you’re reading this  assuming it’ll be the weekend still – I’ll be at my parents hopefully out for one of those wonderful walk/hikes. Living in the city has its perks but my heart blooms in the countryside. And no, I don’t care if you say hearts can’t bloom. Mine can. If you have a spare moment – and given you’re still reading I guess you do ;) : here’s another post of some great links worth clicking and reading.

Happy Sunday!

 

Good good links

 

Good good [food for thought]

Women, Stop Apologizing For Existing via Huffington Post

Touché! Are you an overexciser, too? Why we need to break the habit.
The Concept of Finding Yourself. via Living  Mint Green

 An ongoing project for me and this couldn’t be more true: “f you’re waiting to feel 100% fearless, 100% certain and 100% confident as a sign that you’re “ready” or “making the right decision” you’ll be waiting forever.”

Good good [advice and inspiration]

 22 Genius Tips To Help You Cook More On Weeknights via Buzzfeed

Planning can be fun and online tools are there to help spark lost creativity.

 These Diagrams Are Everything You Need To Decorate Your Home via Buzzfeed

Not just for once you finally buy that house of your dreams.

Whether working or studying: Break up those periods by meeting people in similar positions or hitting a coffeeshop for a change of scenery.
Health and Fitness

 “But the main lesson is that my legs are part of me, and it is really tiring to direct all that hate inward”

Why Habits Fail via Avocado a Day Nutrition
Remember: it’s not you failing but probably the focus of your goal.

If you’re like me and have yet to set foot into the weights area of the gym.

Confession: I’m a plank-a-holic. Here’s why you should join me on the dark strong side.
8 exercises for a stronger back via The Almond Eater
My habit of stuffing my bags to the brim hasn’t done my back any good so these are a good reminder I need to work on the issue.

3 Times You Should Rebel Against Healthy Lifestyle Rules via Strong Inside Out

Why it’s unneccessary to buy everything organic and taking a break from your workouts will do you more good than harm [yes, this way around].

 

Blogging

You don’t need to be an experct to give advice but just be yourself and

50 No-Fluff, Content-Rich Blog Post Ideas via Elle & Co.

Great ideas for those days when your brain’s not coming up with anything – and I know for a fact that can’t just be me!

 

 Good good [posts to make you smile + DIYs]

Bro, the Protein You’re Drinking Ain’t Good (and Might Be Super Dangerous) via Greatist

Having a bad day? Watch this and learn how to save the bros.  … or better yet make them go homemade here.

 Luxury Tiny House For Sale via Tiny House

I like spaciousness but this is just way too amazing. So in case you have some spare money …

 

 

Good good [food]

Vegan and Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Granola Cups and Strawberry Mousse via Fitting Into Vegan

Not just for Valentine’s Day because  when do granola and strawberries not sound like a perfect match?!

13 Healthy Make-Ahead Breakfast Recipes via Cookie and Kate

The Morning Glory Oatmeal and Cranberry Orange Steel-Cut Oats are calling my name.

 PB&J Granola Cookie Clusters via The Nutritious Kitchen

Forget sandwiches! This granola is where it’s at.

Peanut Butter Chocolate with Dark Chocolate Swirls via Elephantastic Vegan

Everybody likes peanut butter + chocolate. And in bar form? Hello, yes, please.

No-bake Dirt Cake with Chia Pudding via Yeah … Imma Eat That

I’ve never had dirt cake but I really want to have this in front of me.

Lentil Chili Pot Pie with Pumpkin Cornbread Topping via love me, feed me

This looks totally adorable and tasty. We’re talking chili and cornbread aka the best kind of comfort food after all.

Lentil Pesto Pizza Waffles via Swirls and Spice

These are genius! I’m a huge lentil fan but would never have thought of turning them into waffles.

Brown Rice Recipes That Won’t Bore You To Death via Huffington Post

For the next time I have to go through a 2.2 lb bag of brown rice [true story from not too long ago].

[the best] Brunch Casserole  via Vegan 4 one

 Cashew cream sauce? Kale? Smoked paprika? Check, check and check. This might very well be pretty awesome.

 

Happiness-inducing today: Just a random nice conversation at the supermarket.

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Disorders in disguise? [Questioning dietary choices]

Aren’t you glad it’s Thursday?! One day closer to the weekend which for me will mean a few days at my parents and then – hopefully – a stop in Hamburg to meet my sister and a friend I haven’t seen in way too long. But before we talk about weekend plans there are some thoughts on my mind that require thinking out loud and I’d be happy to hear your take on the issue so go comment crazy.

Thinking-Out-Loud

Unless you’re new to my blog it’s not a secret that legumes are my beef and vegetable more than side dishes to me. In short: I’m a vegetarian. Lacto-vegetarian, largely vegan, to be exact. All fine and well. If it wasn’t for my background and the fact that any kind of clearly labeled diet is always a  potential playground/hiding place for an ED. And yes … Labels are for tin cans.

Does that mean I feel restricted by my diet? Tough one. On one hand: no. I don’t crave meat, fish never appealed to me  and gelatin … let’s not even get there. But then there’s the finer line between ‘my’ vegetarianism and others’. I don’t eat any kind of cheese but just those clearly labeled as vegetarian. Which still leaves me with plenty of choices if shopping and cooking on my own – not at restaurants’ or others’ houses, though. About three years [give or take a few months] ago I eschewed eggs from my diet because a) I’d never been too keen on them as is in anway [only hidden in baked goods or the likes] and – more importantly – b) I couldn’t ethically stand the idea of eating them anymore. So generally, this leaves me as a lacto-vegetarian guided by ethics. Ideally, I would like to be fully vegan again at some point but looking back I know it only ever was ethically-led for a very short time before it became disordered.

Ice cream_mango_Giovanni L

Nevertheless, I keep a close check on my thoughts and choices at all times. When at an all-vegetarian or even vegan restaurant: Do I make my choice based on my cravings or a fear of higher calorie options [i.e. skipping creamy sauces or nixing the avocado a dish might be served with]? And then there’s the ice cream issue: a bowl of ice cream seems to be the dessert of choice for quite a few bloggers – as evidenced in WIAW posts - and seeing as it’s one of my favourite desserts my cravings are sparked regularly. However, the choices for non-sketchy ingredient ice creams that are also egg-less are slim at stores around here. Vegan ones? Don’t even ask. Unless you live in a bigger city you’re out of luck over here.

Ice cream

So why am I sharing my, shall we call it: dietary dilemma? Because I’m convinced I’m not alone on this one. In fact, I’ve talked to and heard from other people on certain diets longing for foods that didn’t make the cut for their dietary choices. Even some who stick with a gluten-free diet as they said it made them feel better while never being diagnosed by a doctor and not feeling completely awful when eating gluten. One of those bloggers I talked to admitted her choice of living gluten-free was influenced by the media and many others shunning wheat from their diets – regardless of her own [gut] feelings.

I wish I had a solution, a handy checklist to see if a dietary decision we make is induced by ethics or eating disorders, metabolism or media influence, but alas, I don’t. Should I  turn a two blind eyes to that good, prouncable-ingredient ice cream at the store at times or stick with ethics? Is the fact alone I/we  feel torn on occasion a sign of an eating disorder hiding in disguise? I’m clueless. But not in an Alicia Silverstone way.

 

Happiness-inducing today: Finishing the revision of another paper my sister had to write for her studies. Call me a grammar nerd: it’s a label I’m proudly wearing. (:

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No questions today but whatever thoughts and experiences you feel like sharing on the issue.

 

 

 

Pump[kin] up my lunches and cookies

Oh hey, a second What I ate Wednesday and Vegan Wednesday in a row!

Not making any promises of posting weekly meals again but I do plan on joining WIAW more regularly again. I’ve fallen into a rut, no, groove [stealing this from Amanda] and I need crave change. WIAW has proven to be a helpful tool of inspiration and positive pressure here before so fingers crossed I’ll be able to shake it off up again. Onto my recent still-in-the-groove meals, though.

WIAW_new2015

 

Let’s face it: office lunches are not glamorous. Unless you a) live in an awesome city with intriguing options [Whole Foods, Panera, Chipotle – none of which exist in Germany and certainly not where I live]. What’s a girl to do? Meal prep, right. I’ve actually gotten rather good at breaking this up over the course of the weekend in batch-cooking a different grain every week plus two stew-like dishes to go along with it. That would be casserole-y-fying for you. And yes, we’ll pretend that’s a word. Thanks.

Pumpkin cheese sauce

That above is the key to one of my favourite go-to dishes: a super simple – does anybody use the abbreviation KISS anymore??? If so: that’s the name of the game. – vegan pumpkin cheese sauce. I’ve had neither Velveeta nor Kraft mac and cheese before but rumor has it they tag along that ‘neon cheese sauce’ image so maybe I can compete here? Only this sauce contains a fraction of the ingredients of boxed kinds and healthy ones at that. It’s in fact not the first time this sauce is making an appearance on here but I somehow never shared the original recipe I used it in.  Given it’s a keeper I might just have to …

Office lunch_casserole_vegan pumpkin cheese sauce

This particular dish was a mix of sautéed carrots, cauliflower, red onions and kale with – what’s new? – chickpeas. All served up with short-grain brown rice I cooked separately and sprinkled with a generous amount of nutritional yeast. The non-glamorous way it looked after lugging it along to the office and reheating it …

20150211_office lunch

… and all non-tuppered packed up. I’m not a member of the Tupper club anymore – or at least not at the office. Granted, tuppered up has a nicer ring to it but I’m really fond of my new dishes.  They’re not actually new – but you’d have a very good memory if you remembered where they hail from – but I’ve been using them more than ever before these past months. A dish you can [but I didn’t this time] bake and store a dish in afterwards?! Plus, the vacuum is pretty amazing – that little ‘zipper’ you see peeking out at the left side top of the dish. No  accidentially lifting the dish up and spilling its contents because the lid wasn’t closed well enough …

casserole_dish

And because I like my sweet endings I’ll overlook the fact I did not like the picture and show you my latest tried-and-tested blogger recipe. Amanda’s vegan Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Cookies. I will admit I didn’t care so much for the actual baked cookies but a lot of dough eating quality control was necessary. In fact, I baked another batch shortly afterwards not only because one of my colleagues was really fond of them but because I was craving some dough. We can call it a win-win-situation and still consider it a selfless act on my part, agreed ;) ?!

Amandas_banana chocolate chip cookies

And now that I’ve talked your ears off about pumpkin cheese, tupper vs. non-tupper dishes and the importance of quality control when baking I’m hungry and we can call it a day. Let’s chat about your recent meals a little below and as always: happy Wednesday!

Happiness-inducing today:  Starting the day with a new breakfast. It’s a first step to breaking the groove!

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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Have you ever made a pumpkin-based cheese sauce before? Let me know of any amazing recipes worth trying.

What’s your favourite kind of cookie dough? Yes, the dough, not the baked cookie. My favourite baked cookie [shortbread-based] differs from my favourite kind of cookie dough so I dare to say others are similar.

Are you a member of the Tupper club? And can we still be friends now that I’m not fully anymore???

 

 

 

Good good links #78

Sunday, you snuck up on me out of the blue. Really. And what about that mysterious overrated* Valentine’s Day that was supposed to be this week? Passed by in the blink of an eye. In case you don’t care to find out about my exciting way of spending yesterday – what? You really don’t?? – no need to worry: I’ll leave the stage for the many great posts I came across this past week to shine. Let me know your favourites, too.

Happy Sunday!

* no single lady hatred here. It’s not like you couldn’t make it a great day for yourself after all.

Good good links

 

Good good [food for thought]

20 Things Someone With an Eating Disorder Wishes They Could Tell You via Huffington Post

Thanks to Laura for pointing this one out to me.  Heartbreaking to read but anybody who struggled with an ED will be able to relate – and anybody else might understand a little better after reading.

Laughing at my nightmare  by Shane Burcaw via Huffington Post

Proof that we need to change our perspective more often and shouldn’t be so quick in making assumptions.

Good good [advice and inspiration]

The outcome more often than not makes up for the struggle of starting out in the first place.

First thought: ewww! Second: let’s start cleaning. Like, yesterday. [oldie but goodie post]

25 Things I Do To Love My Body (And How You Can Too) via Corinne Dobbas

It’s so simple you can’t not do at least one of these every day.

11 Signs You Need To Ditch Paleo [or any diet] via Summer Innanen

Noticing some of these in myself was what caused me to change my diet so if you see them in yourself: how about a little break?

How often do you check your phone? via A Cup of Jo

Uh oh … Guilty as charged. Time to mindfully get bored?!

 

 

Health and Fitness

What Happens When You Don’t Work Out For Weeks via Brittany Lesser

Taking a break from working out isn’t the end of the world – nothing bad will happen.

Stretching 101 via the fit label

Guilty as charged: I hardly ever stretch while I really should. Here’s a great overview to get started with a routine.

7 Tips to Reduce Sugar Intake by Lindsay (Lean Green Bean) via Run to the Finish
As much as I like sugar there is always too much of a good thing at some point so it’s good to know where to cut down without having to embark on a crazy sugar detox.

 Blogging

The Blog Closet | Choosing your Domain via Peanut Butter and Jenny

As if she’d looked into my brain [or maybe she did??]: a smart guide to making one of the key decisions for your blog.

How To Overcome Social Media Jealousy via The Nectar Collective

We’ve all felt it at some point and it’s not a nice mindset to have so let it go.

The Ultimate HTML Cheat Sheet For Beginners via I Can Build A Blog

This is what you’ll find me stuying once I have some time off. It’s the ultimate cheat sheet after all so not a quick two-minute read.

SEO for Bloggers: The Non-Techie Guide via By Regina

Who knew learning about SEO was possible in a non-snoozefest-inducing way? Look no further and learn how to make it work.

The Cutthroat World of Food Blogging via Oatmeal with a Fork

Stealing is never polite behaviour and calling a recipe your own when you knowingly copied somebody else’s? “Credit where credit is due.””

 

 Good good [posts to make you smile + DIYs]

 221 Upcycling Ideas That Will Blow Your Mind via Popsugar

Read: too many amazing DIYs you’ll want to try all at once.

DIY Lap Desks (No Sewing Required!) via A Beautiful Mess

 Who knew you could make these handy helpers at home?

 

What’s Your Actual Personality Type? via Buzzfeed

Let me know if this turns out as eerily accurate for you as it did for me! Side note: It’s been forever since I posted one of these.

This Is What Kids Eat For Breakfast Around The World via Distractify

Revealing? Shocking? Or actually unsurprising?

 

 

Good good [food]

Somebody pinch me! This is my defintion of perfection in a pie. Or: very dangerous to be around.

 Raw raspberry cheesecake brownie bars via The Fitnessista

Even as a usually non-cheesecake person I’d be all up for this cashew-based version.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Protein Bars via The Healthy Maven

Cool kids a) are peanut butter-obsessed and b) make their own protein bars. Are you cool like that?

Natural Chocolate Caramel Candies & Caramel Soft Rounds via Nutty for Life

These naturally sweetened treats are further proof of just how magical dates are.

 Small Batch Dark Chocolate Cupcakes for Two via Peas and Crayons

What Jenn really means: Dark chocolate cupcakes for YOU. Times four. These couldn’t look more adorable.

‘ferrero rocher’ chocolate hazelnut truffles via The Foodie Teen

Please try to resist licking your screen if you’re reading this in a public screen lest you want to scare others ;) .

Meltable Stretchy Vegan Cheese (Sliceable & Shredable) via Creative Vegan Cooking

The ingredient list alone beats any storebought version and the cheese itself looks pretty amazing, too, obviously.

Red Lentil Chickpea Tomato Noodle Soup via The Vegan Pack

Now that’s my kind of packed, filling soup.

 

Happiness-inducing today: Sunshine. A mail from a fellow blogger.

Stay in touch!

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The Power of Frustration

Just a fair warning ahead: this post will be very much free flow, unedited and simply thinking out loud in its purest form.  Not what I had planned … once again. But I’ll be honest with you: …

Thinking-Out-Loud

I’m frustrated with how my day went. As in: not at all the way I’d intented. The planner in me was this close to freaking out. Okay, internally I wasn’t just this close. It happened. Do I at least get points for not hissing at others?!

I’m frustrated because the post I had originally planned and sitting semi-drafted since Monday [Easy, I’ll have enough tome to finish it until Wednesday night. <- Lesson learned: doubt yourself.] is still not finished and it is Wednesday night.

I’m frustrated because the [metaphorical] shirt I’ve been trying on multiple times during the past time doesn’t fit. It’s been looking freaking awesome on others but it’s not for me.

I’m frustrated finding a parking spot in my street is such a pain. Yes, I realize this – along with a number of other points in this post is a very vain complaint –  but I’m sure some of you will agree driving around forever looking for a space after a long day of work is no fun.

I’m frustrated some fun and exciting plans I had in the books for next week were cancelled.

I’m frustrated because my sister just told me she was flying to New York in March and I – won’t. Visiting the US in general and this city in specific has been a  dream of mine for-ev-er.

I’m frustrated because I’ve been going through a bar of chocolate in two days for. .. a while already now. Actually, my biggest frustration here might be that stores around seem to have stopped carrying my favourite bar and Lindt has yet to reach out for a sponsorship. Insert me waving at them like a mad woman here.

I’m frustrated an effort I made and set a lot of hope in didn’t work out. And noticing my reaction here brought about some more frustration in itself.

Apparently, I’m on a roll with my frustration and could go on here. But rambling on endlessly with not outcome is not the point of this post. That would be straying too far from myself.

So what is the point of this then? Easy. After I gave myself some time to get made and truly feel that frustration I realized all of these itty little bits of annoyance accumulating all at once were probably meant to be. Meant to make me think. Meant to spark the intense craving for change and …

Frustration is pretty good fuel for change. If we never experience those setbacks, never have to realize things won’t magically work out just because we’d like them to and never have to fight for anything … well, the point where we need to fight will come.

And you know what happened after that major cumulation of frustration [rhyme no intended but appreciated]? Suddenly I found the close-to-perfect parking spot.Not until after I let off steam in a certainly not lady-like way in my car. I might appear more like a kitten than a lioness but I’m pretty fierce at cussing.

I happened upon four last bars of that chocolate

. I decided there had to be a way to get to the US after all  [or at least I hope somebody else will have a genius idea on how to make it work].

It’s a start. Now it’s about turning all of the frustration into action. Try harder. Speak my mind. Step out of my comfort zone. Thank goodness for frustration.

Happiness-inducing today: Getting very positive feedback on some of my work. This isn’t meant to brag but we hardly ever get outside feedback on any of our work so somebody walking up to me to say it made.my.day.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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No specific questions. Just whichever thoughts you have on the topic and if you need to let go off some frustration you’ve dealt with lately too: now’s the chance. (: