Don’t stop and stare.

It’s time to think out loud with Amanda – or step on the soap box in my case?! – again. Instead of sharing the latest Yogi wisdom or roommate stories with you there’s something else on my mind…

Thinking-Out-Loud

What’s the first thought you have when you see a very thin girl on the street or in a picture on a blog?

She clearly has an eating disorder.

Goodness, somebody feed her.

Or how about the thoughts when seeing a curvier woman?

Lazy couch potato.

She shouldn’t eat that burger and move more.

… and then people usually either stare, whisper to whomever is walking with them – or: spread rumors. Yet all of these points are assumption. This is what you can’t tell from a person’s appearance. If I wanted I could further to the many times I got wrong first impressions of people – non-ED-related –  who later became good friends. But in light of the fact there are whole forums dedicated solely to gossiping about [or at least that one huge I’m sure many of you have heard of before]. Analyzing their appearances, diets and whole lives. This as well as several bloggers’ posts adressing the topic of [presumed] EDs on their part – like this one by Katie – I felt like sharing my thoughts and experiences on the issue. Not because I’d personally been subject of any rumors or mean commentary lately – not for a good long while. Simply for the cause it’s an ever-occuring topic on- and offline.

When there is so much you’ll never know. Even I personally will admit I have these thoughts when I see an underweight person. That’s when I remind myself I don’t know her story. I don’t know if she actually has an ED. Just naming one example would be a friend of mine who’s still very skinny as a result of battling cancer. People who know won’t look or ask. But if outsiders saw her they might come to wrong conclusions.

Don’t stare at people who are on either end of the weight spectrum [or in non-weight-related ways different from the norm] – because chubby people have to deal with hurtful commentary as much as thin ones.  Stares, finger-pointing and gossiping behind the person’s back hurt – online as much as in real life. If you’re concerned about somebody: ask. Maybe offer help. Don’t spread rumors. Give them a chance to explain their story. Or if they don’t want to: accept it.

The weight of a person doesn’t open her mind to you. If you saw me right now you’d probaly have similar thoughts to those mentioned above, too. In fact, I’d assume I look similar to what I did when I started my blog. But my mindset has changed a lot since. And mindset plays at least as huge a role as weight. I’m not naive and saying weight didn’t matter in recovery – it does. But just because somebody is at what is considered a healthy weight doesn’t necessarily mean their mind was at the same stage of recovery. Just like – as mentioned – somebody being over- or underweight doesn’t automatically mean that person was [still or at any point] excessively over- or undereating.

Progress can be made or on its way even if somebody doesn’t look like it yet. Weight gain and recovery don’t happen overnight. Like I said: I’m not immune to the automatic assumptions, either. But I’m trying to keep in mind there’s so much more to a person her weight doesn’t tell and stares hurt.

Happiness inducing today: Having a surprisingly productive morning [for a night owl this is a big deal].

Stay in touch!

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No questions today. Just whichever thoughts or experiences you have regarding the topic.

[Don’t] judge me …

Happy first What I ate Wednesday of October – and: Happy belated World Vegetarian Day!

WIAW_halloween button(I hope you don’t mind me using the Halloween button, Jenn – it’s just so cute that I couldn’t resist!)

It’s no secret that there’s a lot of judgement in the world. More specifically, there’s a lot of judgement about food in the blog world. Whether people judge others for not eating healthy enough, repeating meals, eating too little or too much – we will never be able to please everyone. Actually, I can get judgemental about the way I eat, too. Feel guilty or ashamed for a certain food or the amounts of it I’ve eaten. But in the end the way I eat is just right for me – as long as I’m listening to my cravings, not cutting out any food groups purposely without medical reasons and keep an overall balance.

Without further ado here’s a [sort of] confessional-style WIAW post of my recent meals and snacks. Thanks to Jenn for hosting

[Don’t] judge me …

Kabocha

for eating kabocha for breakfast just because I felt like it. Oat bran? Yogurt bowl? Fruit? Some days nothing tickles my fancy. Nothing aside from kabocha, that is. Does that mean I’m strange? Maybe. Does it leave me feeling satisfied? Definitely. And let’s look at it that way: some people eat hash browns/potatoes for breakfast so how unsual is kabocha, really? With a side of almond butter it’s a favourite of mine. [Please note that I had way more than shown on the plate. Volume eater forever.]

There was a time when I tried to eat bread rolls with marmelade for breakfast because it’s considered ‘normal’ and that’s what I want to be. Yet just because everybody around eats it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for me, too. Sorry but I’d rather be satisfied than fit in with the norm. And who defines what’s ‘normal’ in anyway?

[Don’t] judge me …

Mint Chocolate Truffles

because I’m still obsessed with my fudgy black bean truffles and eating four more that very day the picture was taken [read: yesterday]. Mint chocolate chip is my current favourite variety. Just adding a little mint extract and omitting the coconut is all the magic behind these. And:

[Don’t] judge me …

Chocolate

for eating the healthy truffles and the ‘real deal’. It’s all about balance and for me that means satisfying my sweet tooth every day never denying myself a craving. Some days that results in me eating both truffles and several pieces of chocolate [while still not going overboard], some days my cravings are satisfied after just a little bit. Admittedly, though, the latter hardly happen. I’m a true chocoholic and won’t deny it.

[Don’t] judge me …

Cauliflower rice

for enjoying cauliflower couscous [side note: I know it’s usually called “rice” but I consider it to be more reminiscent of couscous]. That’s actually something I used to judge myself for thinking I shouldn’t as I’m in recovery and need to have “actual” grains all of the time. Really, though, I’m not fooling myself into believing a vegetable was just like a grain but enjoy it just for what it is: a nice fluffy side dish. If I was going out of my way just to get hold of cauliflower or bought it out-of-season for insane amounts of money I’d be a little worried. All ranting aside I obviously didn’t eat it plain – okay, it was spiced already – as is but let it shine as the perfect accompaniment …

Chickpeas in mole

to my latest creation in celebration of World Vegetarian Day [October 1st]: Chickpeas in Chocolate Mole Sauce with a surprise ingredient – no, not the chocolate. With my September goal still in mind I’ll post the recipe later this week. Not to tooth my own horn but believe me: you don’t want to miss it ;).

All of that being said I still think it’s okay to ask others you assume might be struggling with certain foods or restricting about their habits. Offering advice in a kind and careful way. In fact, others’ comments have helped me take a closer look and question my food habits, too, at times making changes for the better. Just don’t judge right away without knowing the whole story.

Judge me or don’t – it’s the way I eat and I’m happy with it. Whether you find it strange or not :).

Happy Wednesday!

Happiness inducing today: Writing a letter to a very special person.

Have you experienced judgement for the way you eat?

What’s the most ‘unusual’ breakfast you’ve ever eaten? Bonus points if kabocha was included.

Are there situations when you change your eating habits to fit in with the norm?