The Period Problem


i got my first period a week after i graduated eighth grade. i was late, but i was relieved. my two best friends at the time had been rolling up to homeroom with tampons spilling out of their backpacks since the summer before sixth grade. i always felt out of place when they’d insist we all make a trip to the bathroom during recess to “clean up”. i’d always just brush my hair and wait outside the stall. feeling young, ignorant.

so when it happened, i was over the moon. i felt like i had finally caught up, finally got it right.

only to get it wrong.

a few weeks passed and it didn’t come back. my mom wasn’t alarmed. i just got it, it’s normal not to be regular. right. normal. okay, good. it was reassuring to know that everything was fine.

but, it wasn’t.

now we’re a few weeks out following my first period. we’re also rapidly approaching the eerie beginnings of my eating disorder. at this point i’ve just began “dieting”. what did this mean for me? religiously keeping track of every morsel that went into my body, and then religiously burning every morsel away. i was restricting and exercising twice a day. i was losing weight and getting smaller. my friends and family were commending my hard work.

this became my life until my senior year of high school. throw in a few near death experiences, inpatient stays, refeeding pursuits…you get the picture. for over four years i put my body through absolute hell. i deprived it. i burned it out. it could barely support me breathing, walking. it couldn’t have been bothered with my period.

a stable menstrual cycle is an indication of a happy and healthy body. i remember reading once that if you haven’t gotten a period in 3 months, you should see a doctor. what did that mean for me, who, at the time of reading, was years beyond this warning. 3 months? try 3 years.

when i finally committed to recovery, i had a lot on my plate (literally and figuratively)! the absence of my period constantly lingered in the back of my mind. i knew i needed to fix it. i had no idea where to began. the doctors on my outpatient team consistently promised that once i returned to a healthy weight and body fat percentage and maintained that, then my period would return.

i trusted them. but their hypothesis proved false.

in my years spent in good, stable health, i was luckily able to alleviate various physical and mental health problems that were triggered by my restrictive habits. but my period, that was stubborn.

last year, i realized i could no longer rely on a faint hope that “it’ll come back soon”. i needed to act. fast. this had gone on for far too long. my body needed me.

i spent hours every night after a full day of classes and homework, burying myself deeper and deeper in research. i joined forums, signed up for email subscriptions, read books. i was determined to naturally and lovingly call my cycle home. i had read plenty about the pill and decided it wasn’t for me. my body didn’t need a pill to mimic my cycle. my body needed MY CYCLE. and i was going to get it just that.

below are a few steps i took toward restoring my cycle. to note, i am at a healthy weight and body fat percentage for my height (confirmed by medical professionals). after implanting this routine for about 4 months, i saw the results i was looking for.

**it’s EXTREMELY crucial to note that i am in no way a medical professional qualified to diagnose or provide medical advice. i’m simply sharing my experience and what worked for me. i also don’t believe that these few things alone helped restore my period, but i can never know for sure, so i’m sharing them here!**

Supplements and Herbs:

  • Vitamin C: this one has very little scientific research. it’s more of an “urban legend” type of thing, but i began adding it to my supplement routine. it is thought to possibly elevate estrogen levels while lowering progesterone levels. ive been taking this one!
  • Chaste Tree Berry (aka Vitex Berry): i’ve taken vitex berry in pill form in the past but wasn’t consistent with it. i actually came across this Hormone Balancing Elixir  while doing research and was so intrigued that i ordered a bottle right there. every morning i drink a glass of warm water with apple cider vinegar, lemon, cinnamon, and about 10-12 drops of this elixir. i also use it in my nightlight tea (more on that below)


  • Ginger and Cinnamon: again, not tons of scientific evidence for these, but these two are believed to induce blood flow in the uterine area and, well, get things moving. they’re also great for digestion and bloating. every night before bed i have a hot mug (okay, usually 2) of ginger tea with a tablespoon of honey and a splash of lemon. i use cinnamon in my morning ACV drink (above, also great for digestion!) and in my oatmeal. 
  • Gelatinized Maca Powder: of all the supplements i’ve learned about, maca seems to be the most promising for period help. of course this one product alone won’t cure anything, but i strongly believe incorporating it daily has helped me among other things. this adaptogen supports the endocrine system and regulates/balances hormones, which is key to regular periods. i prefer the gelatinized powder because this form is easiest for the body to digest. my favorite way to enjoy this adaptogen is to add one tablespoon of the powder to my oatmeal each morning. it has a maple, caramel-like flavor that makes eating it actually enjoyable. if i don’t have oatmeal that day, i’ll use it in a mug of hot chocolate or other blended hot drink of choice.
  • Rhodiola Rosea and Ashwaghanda: more adaptogens. i take these two because they are said to have relaxing qualities. they are best known for reducing stress and alleviating anxiety. since putting any kind of stress on the body can create difficulties in regulating a period, it’s important to take care of your hormones and reduce stress as much as you can manage! i use the vita cost brand for these two. 


  • More strength training, less cardio: in recent months, i’ve actively focused on more body weight and weighted workouts. i adore my cycle classes and runs, but in hindsight i believe them to have been deterring my cycle. over the past 4 months i’ve taken more rest days while taking on more low-intensity workouts on the days i am active. i feel stronger and no longer burnt out. oh, and my period’s back, so i think that speaks volumes on that end.
  • Tracking: i recently read Woman Code by Alisa Viti and it was extremely insightful in terms of what steps to take in order to maintain a regular cycle. i downloaded the app MyFlo in order to track my cycle in it’s 4 stages (i highly recommend reading the book or at least googling a bit to gather a better understanding of all 4 stages of the menstrual cycle)! at each point, there are different foods to eat, exercises to do, and overall tips to follow to function to the highest degree at that point in time. tracking my cycle in the app has granted me feedback at each point that has been very helpful.


again, i am in no way a medical professional qualified to grant advice on a medical level. this is just a look into my recent experience in restoring and regulating my cycle after losing it for FOUR YEARS to my eating disorder. no one thing listed will magically solve your problems. the best thing you can do is seek medical help and guidance as well as educate yourself about what you can do right now. this routine seems to have worked for me, but i believe the best thing i have done for myself is never giving up hope. keep strong, keep believing you can, and keep loving your body so that it can love you back. our faith is healing!



What’s the Word #1: Recovery

**Written March 31st, 2018**
Today’s word? Recovery.

What I plan to do with these is to simply make a list of anything and everything that pops into my head that’s relevant to the word. Bullets probably won’t flow coherently from one to the next; rather, it’ll read more as a stream of consciousness type of list. Hopefully these can be helpful in getting to cover a larger scope of details about the word as opposed to focusing on one point about it!

  • (I know I’ll get asked this) My eating disorder recovery consisted of two inpatient stays, one php program, three or four completely different outpatient teams, 10+ therapists and nutritionists, an attempt at FBT (family-based treatment), and a whole lot of relapsing. Way to set the vibes for this post. Cool.
  • Recovery is not a one and done deal. My personal opinion is that nobody 100% recovers. Before you label me a pessimist, let me explain. For me, at least, I know that “life after recovery” means living with consistent strength. I can’t unlearn the terrible behaviors and beliefs that are rooted so deeply in my brain. I can’t unlearn what a certain amount of calories looks like, or what it feels like to behave in a specific way. I’ll always know those things. I’m not in recovery anymore. Not in the conventional sense. I’m years past my eating disorder. However, I believe that everyday is a choice, a choice to accept that I know these things, and subsequently choosing to defy their irrationality.
  • If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not in recovery. The defining characteristic of recovery is that you’re experiencing discomfort. Why? Recovery implies that you are taking on a challenge, moving past a time of comfort and familiarity and choosing to leave it behind. That’s scary.
  • Be willing. Every relapse I’ve faced had been the result of me shutting down, rejecting change.
  • It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do in your life. But not a day will pass years later when you’re not flooded with gratitude for it. When the sun bleeds through your window and wakes you up, and you roll over and look out and realize, hey, life is good, it’s worth waking up for, I have a place, I’m capable…do it for those moments.
  • Recovery has to be the most selfish time of your life. Comparison will kill you. This is the hardest part about recovery. You have to watch everyone around you do the things you itch to do, and have to accept that you can’t. Watching my sisters play sports and grab 100 calorie snack packs for breakfast-on-the-go made my ED furious. All I wanted to do was prove that I could do “better” (workout two times as hard, fueled by nothing at all). This is the fine line between relapse and recovery.
  • Positive self-talk saved me. Constantly reminding myself that the discomfort is temporary.
  • Distract yourself! Recovery fails when taken on in the solitude of your room. You’re going to be thinking about food and exercise way too much. You’re going to want to fall back on old habits. Keep busy. Be willing to socialize. Realize that the pain in socializing is far less destructive than the pain of isolation. Especially when in that isolation you are free to relapse.
  • Have fun with it! This is a time where there is so much unexplored territory. Find yourself. When the distractions of food, exercise, and body image are stripped away, what can you dedicate your time towards instead? In my recovery I found that I actually love to color, and read books upon books. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed learning; my time with my disorder left me with brain fog and stripped my appreciation for school. Once I began to recover and leave behind these detrimental behaviors, I found myself again.
  • Don’t focus on “eating healthy” in recovery. Today, I’m a strong advocate for whole foods, but I hate the word healthy. Health is relative; what is healthy for me is not necessarily healthy for you. In recovery, health means something world’s apart from health for a person who is stable in body and mind. Accept that right now, you are not the latter. In recovery, “healthy” means anything that will bring you to the point of stability. I constantly get asked how to gain needed weight “the healthy way” and I want to scream. I restored 50+ pounds and did so by eating whatever I wanted. I saw recovery as a time to finally, finally after four years, honor my body and enjoy the foods I was craving. Was I scared? Like hell. But I decided to see recovery as a time of letting go of responsibility, at least for the time being. Eating disorders are reliant on being in control; passing on the responsibility of food to my doctors, hospital programs, and my parents took off so much pressure. I was finally able to breathe and focus on working through other issues.
  • You’re not better than recovery.
  • You need recovery.
  • You’re not weak for choosing recovery.
  • Stick to it. You’re going to want to give up almost daily in the beginning. Don’t. Talk to someone instead. Reach out. Go downstairs and tell your mom that you’re really uncomfortable in your changing body. Call your best friend and cry and don’t explain why, just get it out. Reach out to ME.
  • What’s scaring you about recovery? Take the time to write these fears out or say them out loud. Getting them out into the open and evaluating them from an outside standpoint allows you to realize how irrational your fears are. I used to always cry to my mom that I was scared to eat more because my body would change. Then I realized, wait, isn’t that the whole damn point of recovery? To improve my relationship with my body? To become more accepting of it? How would I be able to do that if I stayed stagnant?
  • Your recovery will be 100% from the next person’s. Embrace the fact that there’s no blueprint, no set of steps or rules. As long as you are bettering yourself, your health, your mind, your body, you are recovering.
  • It’s crucial to maintain good decision-making throughout your recovery. Every single action and thought impacts how well your recovery goes. At this point in your life, you’re extremely fragile. It won’t be like this forever, but for the time being, it is. So pay attention to that. Make plans accordingly. Will going out with this specific person trigger me right now? That kind of thing.
  • Did I mention how harmful comparison is? Yes? Am I bringing it up again because it’s critical? Major league yes. FOCUS ON YOU.
  • The current state of treatment centers infuriates me. I’ve watched countless people get sent away from inpatient care or released far too early in the name of insurance coverage. I promise you, if this is an issue that is stopping you from getting treatment, you have the ability to fight it. Be persistent. It’s an intimidating hurdle, and unfair, and frustrating, and cold and cruel and impersonal, but you can fight it. As legit as it seems as an obstacle, it can be overcome. For those who aren’t familiar with what I’m referring to, insurance companies will evaluate patients based on a mere set of numbers to see if they still need to be in treatment. This is wrong. Eating disorders are mental manifestations. They fail to be captured in their entirety through a set of numbers. The need to meet a number determined by some stranger in order to be declared “well” is disgusting. I was in treatment for months; I watched those who needed the same be sent home after a week. There’s steam coming out of my ears right now.
  • Accept all the help you can get.
  • It’ll come up, someone will ask, and I’m an open person about all this bullshit. Was I on meds? Yeah. Try staying inpatient for months and not finding yourself on that pharmacy line every morning and night. Even after treatment, I was on low dosages of medication. I’m not a doctor, and definitely not comfortable providing medical advice as I’m not qualified to do so. Do I think these helped me? I was diagnosed with general anxiety and depression, and was taking a medication that worked to alleviate the symptoms of both. I think this definitely helped me in my most vulnerable stage of recovery. Once I was more stable both mentally and physically I was able to slowly come off. A story for another time. But the point is don’t be so adamant to think you’re above any sort of option.
  • Don’t go into recovery expecting anything. Understand that life works in funny ways. Everything happens for a reason. The course of your recovery is unknown. Embrace that. Don’t expect anything other than for it to be hard, but worth it.

Tough Love

**Written February 11th, 2017**
Tough love, man. When I was quasi-recovering, relapsing, suffering; my mom loved me TOUGH. And at the time, it made me want to punch holes in the wall, scream until my veins popped out in my neck, until I was blue in the face. She refused to pity me. I pitied myself. I felt so bad for myself, that I was suffering. I remember constantly complaining about how the world wasn’t fair, how I didn’t deserve this disease, how I was going through such a terrible time.
It’s funny, actually.
I desperately wanted the attention of everyone around me, and at the same time I wanted to disappear into thin air. I wanted to go through the days unnoticed, terribly embarrassed by my emancipated appearance and straw-like hair, my “sick eyes”, my pale glass skin and bones where body fat should have been. I hated myself and what I had become. Yet I wanted everyone around me to pity me, to look at me and shed a tear, hug me and tell me it’s okay, I’m validated. What a god damn paradox.
My mom refused to pity me. I would lock myself in the bathroom at school during class, silently, violently, shake and cry and just shower myself under the dark rain cloud that was my depression. During these episodes (which occurred daily my sophomore year of high school), I would text my mom novels. I would tell her how sad I was, how I’m really trying this time BUT… How I was scared for the future, how I didn’t want to wake up in the morning, how I physically felt as if I was unable to sit through a school day without wanting to jump out of a window.
I would hold my breath as I watched her type on the other end. She was loving, she cared, but she didn’t enable me. Ah, that’s the word. ENABLE. She acknowledged my frustration, my sadness. What she didn’t do was VALIDATE it. She was stern and outright honest.
She’d start her responses with my name.
“Angie…” the message would read.
Think about that for a second. When someone addresses you in the middle of a conversation, your heart stops. Things just got serious.
And she would do this all.the.damn.time.
Talk about the power of words.
She would go on to say that it’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to feel and she was glad that I was expressing myself. However, there was one tag line she constantly reiterated over and over again and I’ll never forget it. “You have to help yourself”.
Basically, those five words are what I’m here to rant about. My Instagram has allowed me to grab a glimpse into the struggles of so many beautiful people. So many souls who are hurting, who are huddled together under that dark cloud that haunted me in the bathroom stall. So many people in quasi-recovery, relapsing, battling demons. I have crossed paths with plenty of people out there who are crying the blues about their disorder, but are doing NOTHING TO HELP THEMSELVES.
I’m sick of it. I’m so DAMN SICK OF IT.
Frankly, you know what you have to do to get better. You KNOW you should be doubling your intake, HELL TRIPLING IT. You KNOW you have weight to put on and that you SHOULD NOT BE WORKING OUT.You know that you have to eat your night snack, regardless if you live alone and nobody is there to pat you on the shoulder and stroke your hair and give you a high-five.
When you’re in the grips of an eating disorder, you constantly look for validation. Your downward spiral was dependent on this acceptance from others. You kept losing weight, working out harder and eating next-to-nothing. You began manipulating your diet to include seven items. And you kept going, further, further, because you were under the impression that others saw you as “dedicated”, as “healthy”, as “strong”. This is validation. Your actions, while it be irrationally so, were being validated by what you assumed others to think.
To those relapsing, to those who claim to be in recovery but frankly aren’t doing shit, this is for you. I say it sternly and brutally honest but any other way will enable you to keep trucking on the same way you are. YOU HAVE TO HELP YOURSELF. Nobody can do it for you. YOU KNOW WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE. DO IT. Quit stalling. What are you waiting for? Why do you keep saying “tomorrow”? Why do you keep saying “If…”? I don’t understand. Why do you want to stay stuck? Don’t you want to be alive?
I realize there are so many of you out there struggling alone. I realize how insanely fortunate I was to have treatment options, professional help, and a loving and caring family to fall back on. If you don’t have these things, and even if you do, I’m here for you. I want to be your support system. I want you to climb up on my shoulders and then climb even higher, bounding towards life and happiness. I want to listen to you and be here for you and simply help you.
What I don’t want, however, is to enable you.
My mom loved me tough. She listened to me and hugged me and cradled me and reminded me that it’s okay not to be okay. But she never let me stay put. She constantly reminded me that I was sick because I, ME, was allowing myself to stay that way. That I was stronger than any damn voice playing with my brain. But there was only so much she could do. The rest was on me.
One day, I picked myself and realized I was done self-pitying. I was done coming up with excuses for why I shouldn’t do what I was supposed to do. I SHOULD be taking a rest day today, but I just feel SO good that maybe I’ll just skip it. I SHOULD be adding more to my intake, but I’m so tired so I’ll just go to sleep and try again tomorrow.
Coming from someone who’s been around the block, here’s what I have to say.
If you’re trying to restore weight, you CANNOT be working out AT ALL until you’re weight restored and then MAINTAINING A STABLE WEIGHT FOR AT LEAST A MONTH. You HAVE TO expand your intake, you HAVE TO stop trying to fill yourself up on empty foods such as huge bowls of vegetables.
If you’re trying to restore a healthy relationship with food, you HAVE TO break whatever rules you’ve cultivated. You have to throw caution to the wind and just DO IT.
The only way out is through.
How do you expect to get better if you’re doing shit about your situation? Do you expect to one day snap your fingers and things are easier? It doesn’t work like that. You put in the work, the dedication, and you’ll discover your reward. I don’t care that it’s scary, that you’re scared to death to make the changes you need to. The discomfort is temporary. Death isn’t.

I refuse to pity those who can help themselves. Your illness CAN be overcome, but YOU are the only one that can do it. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

I love you all, SO so dearly. I acknowledge your pain and I understand your struggle and I hear your cries. But i refuse to enable you.


Sending (tough) love!

What Life After Recovery is ACTUALLY Like

There’s a fine line between being in recovery and being “recovered”.
It’s not a distinction that’s all that obvious, but it will reveal itself in the subtlest of ways. It’s a long, slow transition but it will make itself evident to you. One day things will click. Decisions that once triggered an anxiety bomb will now seem miniscule. Spontaneity will become fun as opposed to the epitome of hell. In your recovery, you have become so dedicated to seeking out your mental and physical health that the lifestyle becomes second nature. You no longer have to weigh pros and cons of a decision, because you already WANT to make the RIGHT one.
One day, you’ll take a step back and say to yourself, “Hey, life isn’t so bad. It’s not as grey as it once was.” You’ll have a wave of relief wash over you, a feeling of narrow escape. But you did it.
Welcome to the other side.
My life after recovery is, well, amazing. I’m so blessed and grateful and simply can’t believe that at one point, I wanted to throw this all away.
You may not be able to see it now, but you have so much potential. There are so many options. The world is SO BIG.
Life isn’t black, or grey, or whatever dull color is cascading a film over your perspective. I had my run with depression, and anxiety, and OCD. I remember waking up each day and feeling disappointed that I did. I remember dragging myself down my high school’s walkway, my bones aching with each step, a North Face layered over two sweatshirts the week before spring break, the world muffled around me, my mind counting my steps and trying so desperately to ignore my rumbling stomach. I know what that pit in your stomach feels like. I know how heavy it is, how much it’s dragging you down. I know the unexpected and uncontrollable mood swings. One second you feel like you can handle this, this thing that is life. The next minute, you’re attacked with a feeling that your life is meaningless, that you’re incapable, that one day you’re going to be old and alone and STILL sad.
The only way out is through. There is no other secret or mystery to it. You have to fight.
Okay, random tangent. These blog posts are always raw rants…but it’s important to get these thoughts out there.
Back to recovery vs. recovered!!
Personally, I am well into a post-recovery life. When I post on my Instagram about feats or skipping workouts or eating freely or whatever it may be, I’m not looking for people to say they are “proud” of me. I’m not looking for validation or praise. I appreciate the love and support, but I share those things to reiterate to you all what life after recovery looks like. When I make decisions now that would have been impossible for me before, I share them to display my change in mindset, to show you what YOU could have if you truly commit to your recovery.
Another thing. Weight-restored and recovered are not the same thing. To physically reach a weight that a doctor has deemed “safe” for you does not translate into mental freedom. Just throwing it out there, my doctor’s “goal weight” for me was 25 pounds less than what I weigh now (or at least the last time I weighed myself…don’t have a reason to do that anymore!). Once I reached that weight, my life didn’t magically get better. It’s like turning a year older on your birthday. The number changes, but you don’t FEEL different. That’s what weight-restored means to me. It’s getting older, but that’s it. Recovered is when your mind and body connect, when you’re confident in your ability to be responsible for yourself. When you can talk to your body and honor it. When your life becomes more than food, fitness, and appearance. When you begin to define yourself as a person, outside of these elements. When your heart feels light and the world has color and things are vibrant.
That being said, I have to come right out and say it: I don’t believe in being 100% recovered.
Sounds hypocritical, right? Let me explain.
Living a life after recovery makes me “recovered”. I’m no longer dying from an eating disorder. I’m no longer battling severe depression. But in my opinion, I don’t believe eating disorders go away completely.
See, being recovered is everything I described it as and more. However, to be completely honest, the thoughts never disappear. Instead, they dissolve into faint whispers, dancing around in your head once in a blue moon. Being recovered means hearing those thoughts, screaming over them, attacking them with your health, and silencing them. Being recovered is the ability to eradicate the irrational. It is NOT the absence of the irrational. Being recovered makes you strong enough to confront whatever thoughts still have the audacity to show up and putting a brutal end to them. There’s no other way to say this, but once you have an eating disorder, you always “have” one. You can’t unlearn the horrible things your disorder forced you to learn, you can’t un-see food and exercise in the ways you did when you were sick. However, a recovered lifestyle and mindset allows you to modify these irrational perceptions to conform to healthy ones. I’m recovered, but my eating disorder will always be a part of my past. I will sometimes have thoughts pop up against my will. I sometimes will flash back to awful memories, and feel an unwanted sense of mourning. These are natural. It’s okay to acknowledge that the eating disorder is still faintly there. I’m sure there are many people out there that could disagree with me, but I will stand by this point. I’m thriving in health and happiness, but I still have struggles. It’s normal and part of life. I’m not weak for telling you all that my ED will always be here, even though it is in bits and pieces instead of an army. I’m strong for acknowledging it, accepting it, and fighting like hell against it each and every day.

You Spent HOW Long At The Gym?

**Written January 21st, 2017**Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Fitness is an important part of my life.
No, I’m not training for a competition. No, I’m not a college athlete. No, I’m not a personal trainer or exercise-science major or WHATEVER.
I’m a REGULAR PERSON. I go to the gym to feel good, to keep in good health, and to have fun.
Today I’m going to rawly ramble about how aggravated I get when I see so many girls and guys on Instagram forget that they’re REGULAR PEOPLE.
When I was trapped in my eating disorder, I was also orthorexic. I was addicted to exercise and believed that the longer I spent at the gym, the “healthier” I was. Other people would admire my drive, my dedication, my FITNESS. Yeah right. I was severely underweight, had no fuel or strength. The “muscles” I was adamant I had were simply my skeletal make up being exposed by a lack of body fat. I thought I was “vascular” because I was strong, when in reality it was because my skin had become pale and paper thin, a clear sheet to expose them.
Yet, if my workout was any shorter than X amount of time (here X is an extremely absurd amount of time), then I was weak. I had given up, I’d lose my “muscles” and “strength”. And I could NOT let that happen. Everybody looked up to me! I was on top! I WAS THE ONE WHO SPENT MY ENTIRE NIGHT AT THE GYM, NOT THEM.
Get the point?
Deep into a healthful and thriving lifestyle, I’m constantly amazing myself by effortlessly making changes in my mindset that I would have never dreamed possible years ago. One of my favorite aspects of my new, healthy life is the release I’ve taken off of exercise. I spent my whole disorder believing that I had to train at every second of the day. But why!? Who was I? I was, and still am, a regular person. I have many, MANY other concerns and goals in my life besides from the gym. It was not my job, it was not the focus of my career, it was not a determining factor in where my life was going.
Today, I realize that. I understand that the gym is simply a pleasure in my life. I prioritize it because I lead a health-conscious lifestyle, and it goes without saying that the gym is a big part of that. I love pushing myself, I love challenging my limits, I love knowing that I’m improving my body, inside and out.
The message I want to drive home to you is this; if you’re not a competitor, if it’s not your career…then WHY DO YOU PUT SO MUCH STRESS ON YOURSELF? I see so many people out there judge their worth based on the amount of time they worked out that day.
Read that out loud. Doesn’t that sound outright ABSURD!?
That’s because it is! Lately I’ve been shortening my training sessions to break free of this attachment to more time=more respect. My training sessions are always under an hour, and I always stop sooner if my body is telling me to. Quality over quantity, always. Three hours at the gym is first of all destructive, second of all TIME-CONSUMING, but lastly, simply useless. What’s the point? So you can go around and flaunt your feat? Workout because you love it, because it’s good for you. If right now, it’s NOT good for you, DON’T do it. It’s that simple. And believe me, it will be obvious which category you fall into, even if you’re in denial about it.
I want you to see this post at a discussion starter. I feel like this is a topic that can be expanded upon deeply, but I’m super curious to what you have to say. If this concept resonates with you, tell me about it! Reach out via email, Instagram DM, etc.
I tend not to share my workouts on Instagram because I worry for my more fragile followers, and their health and happiness matters to me more than getting likes on a selfie. However, if you do have workout questions, I’d be happy to answer privately 🙂
As always, thanks for following along with my rants…sending love!

How Intuitive Eating Saved My Life

**written January 5th, 2017**
When I first transitioned from a life in “recovery” to a lifestyle focused on health and fitness, I was dead set on eating one way and one way only; by counting macros.
I’m sure most of you reading this are familiar with macro counting, but I feel I should address what it meant to me. Counting macros meant setting a range for each macronutrient (carbs, fats, and protein) that I would strive to attain each day. I remember tossing and turning in bed at night trying to create the next day’s entire line up of meals and snacks. At first it was exciting. It was like a puzzle or a game, trying to get the pieces to fit together. I felt accomplished at the end of the night, adding up the grams in my head and realizing how perfectly I’d done.
But the adrenaline rush was short-lived. I soon found myself coming across new foods and snacks at the grocery store, so eager to try them but after exhausting my brain trying to fit them into the puzzle, threw my hands up in a defeated gesture and moved on. I remember my stomach grumbling when it wasn’t “supposed to”, when I hadn’t “planned” on being hungry at that time in the day. How badly I wanted to open the pantry and grab the crackers I was craving, but couldn’t bring myself to throw the pieces of the puzzle away.
Don’t get me wrong. Counting macros was personally a good transition for me into normalized eating because it allowed me to ensure I was eating ENOUGH. However, it soon became an obsession and a barricade. I couldn’t go out to the store and pick up something that looked good right NOW, because I hadn’t fit it into my macros. I couldn’t reach for seconds at the dinner table because I had planned a bigger snack for later and didn’t feel like moving all of the pieces around for the tenth time that day.
Spontaneity wasn’t an option. I was fed up with being controlled yet AGAIN. I thought I had left that lifestyle behind. My anger boiled, spilling over the edge. I needed change. I needed freedom.
Cue intuitive eating.
Intuitive eating is a broad term. It’s defined differently for everyone. I’m currently about 5 months into this lifestyle. It has truly opened up my life and freed my mind, body, and soul. To me, intuitive eating is TALKING TO YOUR  BODY. I wake up in the morning, ask myself “What sounds good for breakfast?” and whatever I think of first is what I’m craving. Then I make that thing, because that’s why my body wants and why should I deprive it?
I finish my breakfast, and get on with my day. At some point in the mid-morning, I may get hungry again. I walk into the kitchen and poke around, thinking about what sounds good. I grab a snack, chow down, and return back to whatever I was doing. I’ll eat lunch again when my stomach grumbles. It’s not the same time everyday. I don’t have a morning snack everyday. I LISTEN TO MY BODY.
I’m cooking lunch, and throw a dollop of hummus on top of my bowl. As I’m putting it away, I grab an extra spoonful and eat it. Totally unplanned, not tracked, but it LOOKS so good and I really like this hummus, so I’m going to enjoy more than a “suggested serving”. Why? Because I eat to enjoy myself just as much as I eat to fuel myself.
I make last minute plans to hit the mall with my friends. I ate lunch a few hours ago, and won’t be home to cook dinner at the time I thought I’d begin cooking. What do I do? Open up my bar stash, shuffle through, and pick a snack that sounds good and will hold me over until I can make a late dinner. I don’t always have a snack between lunch and dinner. If life gets in the way, then I have to accommodate that. And that’s FINE.
I ALWAYS have a night snack. After dinner, I’m usually never hungry. I could easily go to bed without eating another thing. But I have a night snack purely for the JOY of it. I love lounging on the couch, throwing up my feet as 30 Rock plays on my laptop. I’m so comfortable, so at peace, and the only thing that could improve the situation is something delicious rocking my taste buds. For that reason, I always have a snack. For pleasure. Because my body may not be hungry, but my mind is. And that’s just as important.
You see, I never eat the same foods every day. I never eat the same amount every day. I always talk with my body. I strive to be my body’s friend. Lately, I’ve been consciously trying to incorporate more “superfoods”, more plant based protein powders, more supplements, etc. However, I don’t put labels on my food. I eat foods that aren’t always “organic” or “sprouted”. I picked up those Skippy peanut butter balls for a snack the other day, and placed them in my cart next to my loaf of sprouted grain bread. Both items SOUNDED good to me, so I’ll eat both.
Intuitive eating has allowed me to go with the flow, to honor my cravings. To finish my night snack and suddenly remember that I bought these really good-looking dark cacao truffles the other day, and they sound really good right now, so I’ll go into the kitchen and have one or two just because.
The human body is the most incredible machine. Every time I simply think about the millions of interactions and processes taking place inside of me, I’m in awe. And the fact that this machine wants to talk to ME? I’m honored. I want to listen. So I do.
Intuitive eating takes practice. It takes time to get used to being spontaneous, to not living the exact same way as the day before. Patience is a virtue. Dedicate yourself to your freedom. You won’t regret it.
Sending love, as always! Xoxo