Freedom To Make Healthy Choices

My hunnie and I went out the other day for lunch, which is something at one time in my Life I could not do.  As a result of PTSD I developed two severe eating disorders about a decade ago – anorexia and exercise bulimia.  The prospect of eating away from home was not only daunting, it was debilitating – it would trigger panic attacks, tears, and crippling anxiety.  

Fast forward ten years, through treatment, learning, growing…and the will to survive…I am able to be “human” again. I am incredibly specific about what I eat – in part it is just the nutrition I choose to have as part of my Lifestyle.  And in part it is due to allergies…so I feel less badly about that part! *LOL*  But I am not bound to fear in such a way that I can’t go out for coffee, or dinner, or take a road trip.  The ability to do those things is a HUGE deal when you know what it’s like to be beholden to disease.  At that time, it was seemingly impossible.

When I go out, I will always ask for what I want – I’m not embarrassed to do that anymore either, nor to eat with another person around.  And honestly, as I have mentioned in other posts, I am always met with the sincere desire to give me what I want.  Not every restaurant will have something simple, but it doesn’t hurt to ask…and no one is offended if you do!

We went to a casual restaurant, known for its shellfish and seafood – yay for me! 🙂  But I was in the mood for some dimple protein and, fortunately, they had exactly what I was hoping for!

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What I really loved about what they brought me was the portion – oftentimes I notice places either go way too heavy-handed, or on the skimpy side…the latter situation being the one I’m less fond of (who isn’t!?) But I do prefer that they go easy, so that I am not encouraged to stuff myself beyond what I really need at that time – overeating is really easy to do because you are paying for that food…and there it is, right?!

Right!  

So I LOVED that they portioned the food so well – it wasn’t too much, and it wasn’t too little.  I really enjoyed it, and felt great about the choices. It’s a gift to be free of the anxieties that can plague someone struggling with body dysmorphia or EDs – it isn’t easy to fully understand without having been there, but so many illnesses are similar in the addictive behaviors they are rooted in.  Breaking that cycle and finding a way to honor and respect yourself and your experiences is so important.  Giving yourself the gift of freedom is like giving yourself a new Life – you can take baby steps if you need to, but don’t be afraid to ask for what makes you comfortable, or stays in tune with your goals – you ARE allowed.

Healthy Is A Lifestyle

Healthy is  Lifestyle. Period.

I was feeling really bummed the other day – we ladies can be “puffy” without forewarning, and I was just having one of those days!  

Maybe it was too much salt, maybe it wasn’t enough water…  Maybe it’s just that I was beholden to the tides of being a woman!  I’m 37, so things have changed!

I was also “taking it easy,” and took extra days off from my HIIT cardio sprints to baby a shin splint, so I was admittedly playing the mental “I-haven’t-done-enough” game.

Whatever the case may have been, I wasn’t feeling great.  I’ve been through eating disorders in the past (not of my own volition, but from PTSD and the causes of it), so I know body dysmorphia intimately.  

Fortunately, I will never go back to that place – EVER – and I proactively make sure of it each day by exercising, taking a break if my body needs it, eating (more than!) enough…  But it is something you carry with you, and it is a proactive battle you face every day – whether you have been through a trauma or not, health is a daily effort.  Taking care of ourselves should always be a number one priority!

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Anyway…  There I was feeling like the Staypuft Marshmallow Man…

On my way to the treadmill, two ladies stopped me to ask about “being fit.”  What is my routine, what do I eat, how to I maintain it…? I was so touched, and frankly honoredit means a great deal to me to touch others, and to know that they might be inspired to do something wonderful for themselves because of the work I put in.  (Honestly, that is the biggest gift of all for me! ❤ ) 

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The way I put it…and the way I have always viewed it…is that being fit is a Lifestyle.  

It isn’t about a fab diet or exercise-of-the-moment.  

Being healthy is a consistent, daily practice of “little things” that keep us on track, and in a “maintenance phase” (as opposed to the well known trying-to-catch-up mode too many people face today.)

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Eating clean, exercising, being around those who support you, and taking time to care for YOU is a Lifestyle.  It is the combination of a whole ton of positives that add up to a happy and healthy whole.

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You may have days where you aren’t as “ON” – you lag through your workout, you eat something you aren’t pleased about later.  No big deal!  You don’t have to be superwoman or superman EVERY day – the idea is that you are taking steps to stay healthy…not run after it!

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Even if you don’t feel like it, hop on the bike for a few minutes.  Walk on the treadmill for 15…  Choose a healthy, balanced meal even though something is taunting you because it smells good (it usually smells better than it tastes!)  If you take the “whole” approach, things fall into place.  When you are consistent, blips aren’t going to derail you – you will already be in a really healthy place!

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For more pix of my fitness and fuel, here are links to my Facebook albums, and Instagram: