A Worry-Less Wednesday

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For all you natural worriers out there, myself included, let’s stop our worrying for today and try to have a “Worry-less Wednesday.” I know this is no simple feat, but why not give it a try? Whenever we find our minds wandering to some sort of worry (whether it be about an impending school assignment, errands that need to be completed, how we feel we look today, etc.) here’s what we do: take a deep breath in, tell ourselves we can handle this, and then think of something, or somewhere, that relaxes us.

For example, if I find myself worrying about what will happen if I eat something challenging I will take a deep breath in, remind myself of my motivations behind this action, and then think of:

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The most beautiful place I have ever vacationed: Positano, Italy.

If you are having trouble truly believing that you can overcome your worry try telling yourself this:

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We got this! Cheers to a Worry-Less Wednesday ❤

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Songs That Make You Smile :)

In honor of the Grammy Awards, which aired last night, I thought it would be fun to share with you all some of the songs that my best girlfriends from home and I are motivated by or, more specifically, the songs that bring a smile to our faces when we are down. These girls and I have spent SO many hours just driving around aimlessly, listening to music, and enjoying one another’s company, that it only makes sense that over the years we’ve found songs that just make us happy.

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Here are a few of the jams, which when I hear, bring me back to the memorable times (especially the summer nights) I spent with these lovely ladies:

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For some ah-maz-ing reason, which I don’t know, Ice Cube’s, “Today Was A Good Day” is one of our go to jukebox choices.

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“Brandy” by Looking Glass reminds us of home.

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We love to dance to BTN’s cover of the Tom Petty classic “American Girl.”

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“These are the Days” by 10,000 Maniacs is another of our jukebox staples.

So here are the songs that my girls each chose on their own. You’ll have to ask them why they picked them, but I promise it’ll be worthwhile 😉

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 Kate:

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“My Way” by Frank Sinatra

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“Heart Like Mine” by Miranda Lambert

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Khoe:

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“Firework” by Katy Perry

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Taylor:

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“Heart of Gold” – Neil Young

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“Crocodile Rock” by Elton John

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“You’re the One that I Want” from Grease.

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Jen:

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“Rain King” by the Counting Crows

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“Wavelength” by Van Morrison

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 Grace:

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“Love on Top” by Beyonce.

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“Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2

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“Yellow” by Coldplay

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Yours Truly:

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“Baby Don’t Cry”by 2Pac

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“Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison

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“This Magic Moment” by the Drifters

I know, I know, this is QUITE the eclectic collection of songs, but you know what… to each is own and whatever makes you happy makes you happy. I think it’s pretty awesome how these songs motivate us and that we have such great memories tied to our choices. So, if you are looking for a song to boost your spirits try listening to one of our suggestions or try and come up with your own!

My Recovery Narrative

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The other night I did something that I NEVER thought that I would. I wrote, and then shared, my recovery narrative to a group of my peers, most of whom I had never met before. I put myself in a completely vulnerable situation and in all honesty, and for lack of a better expression, I was scared shitless. However, much to my surprise and in contrast to all my fears, the meeting could not have gone better. The group that I spoke to was so incredibly supportive and engaged while I shared my story, which made me feel more at ease during this cathartic experience of mine.

I’m not going to lie though and say that afterwards I felt completely at ease and even more “recovered” because that is not the case. In fact I was/still am pretty overwhelmed, as well as sad, after reflecting back on my story. Sharing brought up a lot of intense emotions for me that I don’t like to always deal with and even though I couldn’t have asked for a better, or more receptive audience, I can’t help, but be reminded just how much having an eating disorder sucks. The past day has been a tough one…I’ve been brought to tears a few times, but I am trying to stay positive and not let my mind go too deep into the darkness. I wish that I could snap my fingers and make all my negative feelings towards myself disappear. I’m working really hard and trying to learn to love myself and I just wish that it would come more naturally to me. I know that I can’t give up though and I eventually will see myself for who I truly am and not who ED tells me I am. One day, hopefully soon, I will recognize just how hard i’ve fought and that it has been worth it because I truly love myself. I just need to keep reminding myself to trust my struggle and that putting myself in vulnerable situations, like sharing my recovery story, will only make me stronger.

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I’m Finally In The Home Stretch!

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Today marks the first day of my final semester in college. It’s hard to believe, when I reflect back on all that has happened over the past two years, that I actually made it to this point. There were so many times, especially at the beginning of this school year, when I did not believe in myself and I thought that persevering through my senior year was an impossible feat. Somehow, though, I garnered strength, which I didn’t know I had and I came out on top. Yes, there were setbacks and my journey was/is by no means a perfect one. I’m human, and not only that, but I’m a sensitive and overthinking one, so I did face quite a few hurdles that forced me to reevaluate what I want in my recovery as well as who I want to be as an individual. I may not have it all figured out yet… I mean every time someone asks me what my plans are for after graduation I cringe a little and simply respond, “I just need to make it through this semester than I will focus on life post college…” but regardless of these uncertainties I am continuing my fight and open to the unknown of this final semester. My goal for this semester is not to get straight A’s (even though that would be awesome haha), but it is to better understand myself  and become comfortable in my own skin. Wish me luck!

So cheers to all the adventures that are to come and also to being a stronger, more confident/secure, carefree, and happy young woman.

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A Few Sweet Little Reminders

For all of you who are having a tough time today (myself included), or week, or month, etc. here are a few inspirational reminders that will hopefully lift up your spirits. I know they are helping me today 🙂

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It’s the truth and stop trying to convince yourself otherwise.

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Elephants are symbolic of strength, reliability, good luck, and happiness.

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Let your beauty shine bright.

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Celebrate even the smallest accomplishments.

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Happiness is never overrated.

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Enough said.

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You have a tremendous worth and are a priority. Don’t forget that.

Find the Good in Every Experience

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Today try and reflect on a difficult time and look for some good in it…this is hard and might be draining, but is definitely worthwhile. For me thinking about how my ED has affected me is really challenging, but in all honesty I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t gone through this struggle. I wish that I never had an ED, but I do and I can’t change the past so I must fight it and recognize that I am a stronger person because I decided to persevere and battle against my disease. Stay strong and beautiful everyone and look for the good ❤

Never Apologize For Being Yourself.

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Ok so I have to preface this post with the fact that I am a total gender and women’s studies nerd and love all of the classes that I have taken in this discipline. I am minoring in GWS and ever since I began college I have found myself gravitating towards courses, which deal with women’s rights and also address the varying cultural experiences of women in our society as well as throughout the world. However, as much as I enjoy GWS, many others don’t seem to see the same appeal in this field of study as I do. I am really peeved by the fact that I feel I must justify to others why I am taking these classes, why they are so interesting/important, and also the fact that yes, I do think a disparity between the rights of men and women exists today, but my interest in GWS also doesn’t mean that I hate men. I love men plain and simple, but I don’t like the fact that I feel pressure to apologize for being interested in women’s issues. Sorry, I’m not sorry, that I think we as women need to stand up for ourselves and must get to a place where we no longer need to justify who we are because we either do, or do not, subscribe to the societal expectations that have been created for women.

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In an effort to combat the need that many women feel to apologize for being themselves I want to share with you an article that was sent to me entitled “18 Things Women Shouldn’t Have to Justify.” I believe it is important that we find resources like these to remind ourselves just how significant our role as women in our society is and that it’s ok not to abide by societal standards if they don’t fit our classification of what being a woman means to us. It is crucial to our own well-being that we be ourselves and fight against letting others define us.

Here’s another list I thought you all might enjoy, which reinforces the fact that every woman is unique and that is amazing. It’s so important not to let what society deems as appropriate consume us. Listen to your heart and your brain and do what is best for you, not everyone else.

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An Excellent Resource: NourishRX – Nutrition. Balance. Wellness

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Almost two years ago one of the most crucial steps I made, once I started on this journey towards recovery, which I am still on, is that I began to regularly meet with a nutritionist. My trusted therapist recommended that I start visiting with Ryann Collins, a registered dietician and the founder/owner of NourishRX located in Beverly. Ryann is experienced with, and extremely knowledgable of, the issues that patients with eating disorders have and the treatment that they thus require. Prior to our first meeting I was petrified…I was unsure of what she would tell me in regard to how I would have to change my eating habits and also I feared that she would be judgmental of my restrictive and disordered food behaviors. I was so fragile during this time that I couldn’t grasp the possibility that a nutritionist could help me…I wasn’t really listening to anything at this time except for my ED thoughts, which ruled all. In all honesty a big part of me felt like I was too far gone and I could never have a normal relationship with food. However, much to my surprise, I hit it off right away with Ryann. She is such an intelligent and warm person and I could tell from the start that she really had my best interests at heart. She was not condescending at all and I knew right away that she had a ton of experience, along with the skill set, to deal with the sensitive and fragile states’ that eating disorder patients are in when they come to see her. I credit Ryann, along with the rest of my support team, with picking up the pieces I had shattered into and giving me much needed hope. My team pushed me in the right direction towards living a healthier and happier life in recovery and they are still here for me today. They are always in my corner, cheering me on even if I am having a rough time.

I want to share Ryann as a resource with all of you, whatever your struggles might be with nutrition, because she helped me so much. I constantly find myself repeating little phrases she told me when I am having a difficult time. The one I use the most is “fat in food does not equate to fat on the body.” For my own personal issues these words help me get through the meals and snacks that I find most overwhelming.

You can check out her website, like her Facebook page, and also follow her on Pinterest! She is truly an amazing professional and I can’t say enough good things about her and just how much she has helped me on my road to recovery 🙂

An Ode to The Dove® Campaign for Real Beauty

As I reflect on my most recent post about the dire need for so many of us to boost our self esteem and to also become more secure with our body images I couldn’t help, but think of The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, which has evolved into The Dove Movement for Self Esteem. Both of these links have excellent resources and tools for building self-confidence and they also reinforce the fact that true beauty comes from within. One particular exercise I thought was pretty sweet is this worksheet:

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Here’s my answer: “You are beautiful because you: are sensitive and thoughtful.” Now you try!

Another effort of these campaigns by Dove, which I found relevant to the post I did yesterday about mirror techniques is this advertisement that Dove put out last spring (a few of you actually sent out the link to this ad to me when it came out and I really appreciated it)! In this commercial viewers see just how warped and misguided people’s perceptions of their physical selves are and how, unfortunately, it is up to strangers to most accurately describe their appearances. The ad highlights how strangers can see another person’s inner beauty even when they can not see their own. It is thus imperative that we all work on seeing ourselves in the best possible light because being your own harshest critic really takes a toll on you and inevitably affects many different facets of your life.

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We mustn’t let the negative feelings we have towards ourselves stop us and hold us back. We need to fight against the bad feelings and hone in on our positive and most redeeming qualities that arise from within. Our worth should not be based on our physical appearance and around what others claim is beautiful. Only you can be the judge of your true beauty and once you really see that then there is no stopping you!

Remember all:

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No matter what anyone else says believe this because you are 🙂

No More Nitpicking. It’s Time To See The Whole Picture.


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Throughout my journey I have tried many different exercises to strengthen my self-esteem and better my perception of my own body image. I believe this is a very sensitive and difficult effort because we, as women, are socialized from a very young age to be unsatisfied with our bodies. It is embedded within our culture to be highly critical of ourselves. I mean does anyone remember the scene in Mean Girls when the “Plastics” are standing in front of the mirror complaining about the most random parts of their body that they think are flawed, and only Cady, who is unfamiliar with this practice because she has grown up in a completely different culture, doesn’t know how to behave? Our insecurities about our bodies are perpetuated through the media’s display of the unrealistic beauty standards that exist for women. And yet, even though I am aware of this it it honestly has affected me greatly and I have a very difficult time with my own body image.

In an effort to combat these negative thoughts I have started using mirror techniques, which have taken me a long time to get use to, but I now know that they work. I began practicing this many months ago and the whole purpose of this exercise is to stop nitpicking what I see as the “flawed” parts of my body and start seeing myself as a whole person. I now look in the mirror and the first thing I say to myself is “you are beautiful” or “you are great” I am consciously avoiding honing in on what I see as “problem areas” and trying to focus on finally seeing myself as a beautiful, caring, and kind young woman who can not be broken into pieces. It takes a lot of hard work, but this is something I am doing daily and I believe:

eb2a52455243da7dd74045b6544e4aa0Everyday we must say our positive affirmations and just reinforce our awesomeness. It takes practice, but it is totally worth it. As this inspirational woman, Robyn Lawly proves, in her appearance on the Ellen Show, by telling yourself constantly that you love your body you will eventually become satisfied, and fall in love, with yourself.