The Balance Between Healthy and Obsessive

Any extreme is bad. How can you tell if you’re creating a healthy or unhealthy habit? Here are a few questions to honestly ask yourself.

  1. Genuinely ask why. Why am I doing this?
  2. Are the intentions setting me up for success or failure?
  3. Are the means to obtaining my goal in service to me or not?
  4. Is the time, monetary and energy investment worth the cost?
  5. Do I beat myself up when I do not follow the regimen needed to attain my goals?
  6. Do i deprive myself of things that make me happy? (i.e. seeing friends, getting enough sleep, “me” time)
  7. Is this something that I genuinely enjoy, or is it something that I feel obliged to do?
  8. Am I being true to who I am?
  9. Is my mind completely consumed with this?
  10. Am I happy?

When writing this list I had a few contexts in mind. Sex every night versus celibacy, overeating versus under-eating, excessive exercise versus no exercise, giving too much versus never giving anything.

I cannot stress the honesty enough. It’s one thing to censor your speech in conversations with others, but its another to avoid the truth in your own consciousness. Sit in the mirror and answer these questions candidly if necessary.

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From Skinny to Fit II

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My friend, a fitness manager, once said that most people have a little screw loose that drives them to pursue a career in fitness. As strange as that sounds, he’s right.

In my case I had depression and anorexia or orthorexia in high school, but labels are irrelevant. Essentially, I played two sports with just enough food to energetically feign a smile and conceal my intern battles.

Read more of my story here, or read my first STF post here.

I posted this photo on Instagram (body.culture) and got an overwhelmingly positive response, which I appreciate so much. As the caption says, “I’m wearing floral skirts differently nowadays. I’ve progressed from malnourishing my body to fueling it, from physical weakness to strength and from discomfort to confidence.”

When I see the girl that I used to be, I feel sad for her. I wish I could help her and tell her that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. She seems sad, alone and lost. However, the girl on the right drastically contrasts her qualities. That girl loves herself fully.

If you’d like to talk, please email me at bodyculture.us@gmail.com

If you’d like to follow my journey follow me on Instagram (@body.culture)

Healthy Eating Cheat Sheet

Below is a quick healthy eating cheat sheet I made for my friend. I figured I’d share it on here in case anyone was interested. I condensed some main points I’ve learned in my nutrition and activity classes. Hope it’s useful!

Healthy Eating Cheat Sheet

200 Hour Yoga Application

I’ve decided to become a yoga instructor.

Lately I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by the plethora of career options the real world has to offer. However, as often as I change my mind or rationalize each possibility, I keep going back to yoga. I am so intensely passionate about it. And not the passion that I feel about working out, cooking or a lover. Yoga is very personal to me.

I know, I know. I sound like a dorky hippie. I can’t help it.

Anyway. I have always dreamed of getting my 200-hour yoga certification at Kripalu Center of Yoga & Health. If Kripalu was a girl, she would be my woman crush Wednesday every Wednesday.

My biggest apprehension about getting my certification was that I wasn’t skilled enough. I cannot do a handstand, I struggle with crow some days and I still use the wall as a crutch for my headstands when my core strength isn’t up to par. However, after speaking to a sweet, soft-spoken woman from Kripalu’s office, all of my concerns were quelled. Here’s one question and my answer from the application. Thoughts?

  1. Why do you want to be certified as a yoga teacher at this time in your life?

Yoga is a huge part of me. Although I’ve dreamed of teaching yoga every day of this six year journey, there was always something holding me back from realizing this goal: my ego. When I first attended yoga classes I silently competed with others in the corporate gym’s fluorescent lit group exercise room. I mindlessly sped through each asana and did anything to gain the yoga instructor’s verbal praise.

These actions were in vain.

When my objective shifted from being in an asana’s deepest expression to listening to my body and being mindful of my movements, the real journey began. Truly letting go, finding peace, grace and understanding on the mat helped me appreciate my body, learn more about myself and discover my genuine passion for yoga.

After six years of transformation and redefining what yoga means to me, I am ready to help others start their own journey of mindfulness, compassion and understanding.

Who Needs Chocoholics Anonymous…

…when you have this strategy?

I believe in listening to your body (within reason). If my body feels the need for a square of dark chocolate then I will absolutely give it that square. However, sometimes one square turns into the entire package. So this is my new, and seemingly effective strategy: buy one pound of 72% dark chocolate, cut it into squares and freeze it. So simple!

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In my psychology classes some studies found when there is an abundance of something, the subjects were less likely to take that object. Even the most avid chocolate lover couldn’t down this luscious ONE POUND block of delight. Also, you know that after your one or two servings there will be more chocolate waiting for you when the next craving hits – it’s not a scarcity.

Freezing the chocolate forces you to wait for the sweet confection to defrost and think about this decision. Unless you want to down frozen, unsatisfying blocks that will inevitably crack your teeth – then you won’t be scarfing down a guilt-ridden amount of candy.

Anyway, that’s my latest strategy and I think it’s been working for me!

 

Almond Ginger Sweet Potato Bowl

After sipping my morning tumeric tonic, I had an urge for a comforting, warm, winter dish. Hey, if that’s what the body wants, that what the body gets!

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Ingredients

1 sweet potato or yam
3 cups greens (I used a blend of baby kale and chard)
1 inch peeled ginger, sliced into discs
coconut oil spray
1 TBS raw almond butter
pinch of cinnamon

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Pierce the potato several times with the tines of a fork and place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes. Alternatively, pierce with fork and put in microwave for about 6-8 minutes (depending on the size). Meanwhile, spray a small pan with coconut oil spray and cook ginger, stirring frequently. When aromatic add greens and cook until they wilt. Next, mash potato with the skin, add almond butter and blend thoroughly. Add cinnamon and greens. Remove ginger discs and enjoy!

 

From Skinny to Fit

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As I’ve received more and more positive feedback from my instagram and blog (thank you guys!) I’ve felt more comfortable talking about my journey: where I came from, why I started and how proud I am of my progress (read my background story here).

My instagram caption read:

“Transformation Tuesday’s a thing right? Left is me in high school; definitely wasn’t fueling my body properly and I was fatigued and weak on the daily. Right was taken about a month ago; I’ve learned how to eat for my workouts and feel so much happier and energized in my new body!”

Although I’ve had this photo compilation for weeks I didn’t know if I was going to share it. To me, it represents my inner and outer strength. My friends and family either didn’t know I had an eating disorder at the time, or merely suggested I eat more (which was too obvious to be good advice).

This before and after photo represents the culmination of the positive people I’ve surrounded myself with, the knowledge I’ve attained from health and wellness classes and the strength I’ve gained from overcoming these seemingly impossible obstacles.

I can honestly say that I feel happier now at a healthy size 10, than when I was a hungry size 00.

Image from my instagram: srollz