Category Archives: Social Pressure

Fight For It!

self worth
A couple of months ago I wrote a blog about how I got my period back. I still smile about how ridiculously happy I was that I finally got my period back after all the years I neglected my health to serve a deadly disease.

I was stoked because that meant my body was getting healthy again. I was delighted that I did it naturally. I was thankful that it meant my body will now be receiving more nutrients out of my foods like calcium. But to be honest with you, I was probably more excited about the fact that I wouldn’t have to put on any more weight. I was at the minimum of a healthy weight range for MY body.

My partner would argue with me saying that I still had two more kg’s to put on for the sake of if I were to lose weight due to illness.

I knew what he was saying was correct as many health professionals have said it before and also just out of common sense but I felt I had reached this huge step and I didn’t want anything to rain on my parade just yet.

The next day I got servery sick. Yep, totally blame everyone who argued with me.
I got a horrible stomach bug that lead to gastro. I was literally forcing down cracker and vegemite and any foods I could stomach so I wouldn’t lose weight. I know that when I become underweight my inner demon (ED) becomes stronger so I was determined to not give in.

Anyways, regardless of my efforts I lost the weight I put on.
I had to work hard to gain it back but it took a solid 2 months.

So I started a battle with myself to gain the extra two kg’s. I fought for my health, my happiness and myself worth.
Fight
Everyone has the right to be healthy and happy. Every single person is worthy of love and acceptance.
Read that paragraph again: Everyone has the right to be healthy and happy. Every single person is worthy of love and acceptance.
For some reason I was limiting myself all of this.

I am proud to recognise now that two kg’s isn’t just weight that goes onto my thighs. Its 2 kg’s that protects me. It’s a TINY bit more of me to love and accept. It’s really not such a big freakin deal when you put your self worth first and choose to make your health your absolute number one priority.
I’m not going to lie and say that it was an easy choice to accept: to go above my minimum healthy weight for my body. For someone who has suffered from an eating disorder for most of their life that would be very rare. But it is a choice I have made. (One point for me and a kick in the ass for the ED.)

I want to really get through to you today that you have a choice in anything in life. You may not choose to become a victim of an inner demon like an eating disorder but you certainly have a choice to fight and get your health and happiness back.

Every time you look at yourself and you make a harsh comment, fight back and correct yourself by saying that you choose to see love in everything you look at.

It’s not an easy battle to fight every minute of the day but it’s certainly worth it.

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Filed under Body Image, Health, Serenity, Social Pressure

I Am Proud Of My Body

Hi all,

Sorry for the lack of posts recently.

I have been extremely busy but will get back into the hang of things very soon!

I am a huge fan of Kate Winslet; always have been but since reading the quote in the above image about creating a positive body image for children, I love her even more.

I admire her talent but most of all I admire the way she treats her body with respect and doesn’t cave into the unhealthy celebrity habits.

It absolutely terrifies me to see young girls being diagnosed with eating disorders and having a negative body image. The age groups for children being affected are getting younger each year.

The days are gone when the only thing you had to worry about when you were eight years old was what Barbie you were going to bring to “show and tell”.

I was actually told last week that eight year olds don’t play with Barbies anymore, they are far too old for that. I am still in shock.

I can’t say I am all that surprised. Everywhere you look there are images of photo-shopped models.

Every second advert on TV is about a new diet or a diet product to try.

The majority of movies have a token fat person that everyone picks on.

Music videos are just soft porn.

And the one thing girls do best when we get together is talk about weight loss and diet.

These are just a few examples of what young children have around them on a daily basis.

I’m not a mother. I do however want to be a mother one day and it breaks my heart to think that my daughter (or son) will be around all of these unhealthy messages.

I understand that we can’t eliminate every negative image and message from kids these days, but I do know that parents have the biggest influence on kids.

I too, have never heard one woman say “I am proud of my body”. I have heard a million times what they hate about their body but never anything that they are proud of.

I don’t blame my mum for never saying that she is proud of her body. My history of my eating disorder didn’t evolve from her. She isn’t one who fixates on her body. In fact I admire the way she has never stressed too much about it.

But I never heard her (or anyone else) say that they were proud of what they had.

Perhaps because we all didn’t want to seem “full of ourselves”.

I once remember my brother saying how awesome his muscles were and we all laughed and told him he had a big head. I can now see why we never spoke about what we liked about ourselves.

Kids have forgotten how to be kids. I see toddlers wearing clothes just like mummy and demanding baby cinnos.

We all give complements to little girls about their appearance. A child shouldn’t care about their appearance! They shouldn’t worry about their figure because they don’t have a figure to watch.

At work, I am around young kids all the time. For a few months I have been mindful of what I say around little girls. I never comment or compliment them on their appearance. I have told them that they are very important and that they have a big heart. I have told them that they can achieve anything they want in life and you know what, their smile was larger than ever and their spirits were high without talking about body image.

I would love to know your thoughts on this.

Did your parent’s relationship with their bodies affect yours?

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa x

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The Value In Vulnerability

Whoever said vulnerability showed weakness and powerlessness couldn’t have got it more wrong.

Being vulnerable takes courage and bravery to open up and be your own authentic self.

I have always felt a sense of embarrassment about my struggles with ED and depression.

I’d pushed people away and I wasn’t always truthful about my past and I continued to deny that I had/have struggles.

I used to feel that I shouldn’t talk about it to others and felt like my struggles would make people want to run and hide from me. I can now see that the only person running away was me.

Since moving from Sydney four months ago I have met a great group of friends and have also learnt that my fear of being vulnerable showed that I wouldn’t allow people to like me for who I really am. Instead of letting go and accepting my past and the person whom I am today, I was prepared to hold up a guard for my protection and for a decent amount of time.

Allowing myself to be completely vulnerable isn’t something I had thought of doing.

I saw the stigma behind it and wanted no part in it.

I would stick to the rules and ask for advice whenever possible to make sure I didn’t say anything inappropriate or put a foot in the wrong place.

As I have mentioned, this year is about finding my authentic self. Throughout this year I have made huge progress in finding and living in my serenity, but the fear of being vulnerable and being 100% honest in regard to my words is something I now see is what needs to be taken care of.

For the past fortnight I have been an open book. Vulnerable.

People have asked me questions and I haven’t sugar coated any answers.

I haven’t allowed myself to feel embarrassed or apologetic about my past or how I choose to live my life.

I have thrown out the book of rules that contain all the dos and don’ts in what you should do or say in certain situations and relationships. I have taken the time to dig deep and ask what I really want or think I should do, without any social pressure or other influences.

With this decision came a lot more self respect and love towards myself.

It feels as if a weight has come off my shoulders by saying to the universe “This is who I am and I’m not afraid to be me”.

This is the message I encourage all of you say to the universe from today onwards.

Vulnerability doesn’t deserve the stigma. It deserves the recognition of empowerment and self respect.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts in on this topic in the comments below 🙂

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa x

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Would You Like Salad With That Oil?

 

My old house mate was visiting his family about 1 hr north of me, and said we should catch up for lunch.

For most people, catching up with a friend whom you haven’t seen in a long time would be exciting, but for me it’s so much more.

Yes it’s exciting, but it’s also a nerve racking, skin scratching, panic making event that makes me want to hide in my well known wardrobe.

What will he say when he finds out I’m vegan?
What will he think of me when I say I can’t have a drink?
What will I wear!?
Will I explain to him that I’m in recovery?
Oh bloody hell, look at the state of my nails!
What if I get lost and crash on the way there?

I needed to calm down and I was overdue for a mani and pedi. Because there isn’t a vegan & cruelty free salon that I have seen (oh that’s a great business idea!) I decided to do my own mani and pedi . I bought cuticle scissors seeing as I have watched it being done many times before and it doesn’t exactly look like rocket science.

Anyway, as it turns out, it’s harder than rocket science and when performing such drastic measures, make sure tissues and band aids are on hand (no pun intended).

So after being reassured that I won’t die on the drive there and that I won’t be forced to eat meat, I said my dramatic goodbyes to my dog and hit the road.

I made it there safe and sound. I sometimes get in the habit of judging my thighs when I sit down so today I made sure I didn’t (you’re welcome, fellow drivers).

You see, although I am proud of being vegan, I do still stress over what people will think of me. So today I just tried to make my eating, not such a big deal. The game plan was to just shrug it off.

So when ordering lunch today, I asked him to order me a salad. When I did this I was thinking, god does he think I ordered this because of my ED?  Does ordering just a garden salad look typical?

I didn’t want any dressing on my salad, but I didn’t ask him to tell the waiter when he ordered because I didn’t want to seem fussy and a pain.

And this my friends is where I learnt my lesson.

So my salad was vegan – score. It was fresh -score. But it was smothered and swimming in oil.

A little bit of oil on my salad is okay but it was swimming and I am not comfortable with this.

I didn’t want to seem like a bother or be a pain so I put a confident smile on my face and acted like nothing was wrong and ate it.

When I got into my car and on the drive home, my heart was pumping pretty damn fast.

I know oil is good for you and I eat oily foods all day, every day, but I wasn’t ready for this..yet!

So although I didn’t cry, kick or scream at the restaurant (you’re welcome everyone) I did, however, feel crap all afternoon.

When I really think about it, I felt mostly crap because I didn’t speak up about what I wanted. I didn’t want to be an inconvenience, and I didn’t want to seem fussy. I felt embarrassed about asking for no dressing!

I realise now that the message I send to the universe is that I’m not worthy of what I want. This has to stop.

I shouldn’t have to apologise for being vegan and asking to leave out the cheese and if they could have the dressing on the side (please).

I need to work on being confident when asking for what I want. But geez it would be so much easier if everyone somehow knew what and when I wanted something!

 

As always your comments make me smile 🙂

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa x

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Is It Necessary To Tell People Your Vegan?

When I was at the gym earlier this week doing tricep dips, my arms started to shake. I don’t usually shake so I sat up feeling a little defeated. The guy next to me said “You know what you need? Red meat. Loads of protein  to make you stronger”.

I instantly felt annoyed. Not because he didn’t read my mind to know I was vegan, but because of the protein obsession that marketers have created.

I then didn’t know how to react. How soon or necessary is it to tell people about your diet and lifestyle choices?

I ended up explaining to him why red meat is not my thing and that I eat plenty of protein (thank you very much!) via spirulina, nuts, legumes, beans, quiona, oats… the list goes on.

The confusion on his face was worth it, but I did wonder how necessary it is to tell people about the lifestyle choices we make.

Image if I arrived at a date’s house (without knowing him well) to find he has spent hours cooking a lamb roast and for me, only not to be able to eat it.

If I were in that situation should I take Kate Hudson’s advice in How to lose a guy in 10 days? Cry and tell him it’s beautiful but I just can’t eat meat? With soft sobs I would murmur “Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb”.

What if work colleagues were to surprise me with a birthday cake that wasn’t vegan. Surely they would feel disappointed.

When topics are related to nutrition, I find it easy to slip in our dietary choices, but meeting new friends and colleagues, nutrition isn’t something everyone is fascinated with, so it isn’t always talked about.

I did, however, have a work colleague ask me if I’d like some meat balls that she brought in. “I said no thanks, I’m vegan”. I pondered afterwards over if I really needed to say that. Perhaps in those situations I could have just said “No thank you, I don’t eat meat” or even just “No thank you”.

I personally think that it’s important for people to know your diet and lifestyle choices. Not only are our diet and lifestyle choices a big part of who we are, but it also helps others.

I have been in the situation where I have cooked a beautiful cake for a friend’s birthday then found out she was gluten intolerant.

We often eat together and although she never orders any bread or pasta, I didn’t assume she wasn’t eating these foods because she has an intolerance.

My friend said that the subject never came up and didn’t feel the need to tell everyone.

I have to agree with her on this. But it would have saved me the embarrassment of turning up with a gift she couldn’t accept.

I think that it is necessary for people to know your diet and lifestyle choices; it’s a part of who you are and it says so much about you.

The question is: How necessary and soon is it to tell people about your diet and lifestyle choices?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comment box below.

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All The Little Things

Last week I came across two blogs that I haven’t read before. The two posts I read from these bloggers got me thinking about how little we acknowledge our achievements and our greatness.

We have been brought up in a society where we don’t like to talk about and be proud of our achievements that we make in our everyday lives, in fear of seeming full-of-ourselves.

Because we don’t acknowledge and celebrate our achievements, it has created a society in which people feel that they can never be good enough and can never achieve.

Cait from Cait Plus Ate created a post suggesting that we write down all the amazing things about ourselves.
I did this exercise and while it felt strange listing the reasons why I’m amazing, when I read over my list I felt pretty damn proud.

Some points on my list were the small things I do, such as reading books and some points were life changing such as eating a vegan diet and living a toxic free lifestyle.

Even though not all of my points were life changing and dramatic, it doesn’t make them any less important compared to the others.

Meg from A Dash of Meg supports this wonderfully in her HFF (High Five Friday).

As I was reading through the High Fives that went out, I was thinking that there are some achievements on the list that I have accomplished, yet I have never acknowledged those achievements or patted myself on the back.

It was heart warming to see High Fives going out for everyday achievements and it is something that I will now incorporate into my everyday life.

When we allow ourselves to appreciate our greatness, our outlook on our day changes dramatically for the better.

Today I went to the gym and increased my dumb-bell weight by 1kg. As I left the gym I realised my achievement and allowed myself to feel proud.  It may be only 1kg heavier but its 1kg more than what I could have lifted last week and that needs celebrating!

My day instantly became brighter and more satisfying once I allowed myself to recognise and feel proud of myself.

We don’t need to break a record or compare our achievements to others, to allow ourselves to feel proud of what we have achieved. We are living our own authentic lives and every new experience and challenge we come up against, makes us a stronger and wiser person.

At the end of each day, sit down and think about what you have achieved that day. Perhaps you finished your work on time or got up early and went to the gym instead of sleeping in. Allow yourself to feel proud of what you have accomplished.

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Why Vegan Parents Aren’t Selfish

I was recently asked whether I would force my kids to be vegan.

First of all I don’t have any kids nor do I even have a partner,so it baffled me when I was asked this question. Yes, I understand that I was being asked “when” or “if” I have kids in the future but to me it seems a little inappropriate to begin with as I could see them ready to pounce if I were to say yes.

So I thought the best way to answer this question was by saying that I will feed them exactly what the government has recommend because after all don’t they have our health and wellbeing as their number one priority?

Mucus from infected cows utters on their cereal for breakfast. Highly refined sugar coated muesli bars mid morning to help them fall asleep in class. 
Toxic deli meat sandwiches on processed wonder white bread for lunch and mixture of hormones and antibiotics to go with their serve of vegies for dinner.

was then given a frustrated look after saying this, which reminded me that I completely forgot dessert, so I explained that of course I would feed them more hormones and mucus to go with their ice cream!

This led to an eye roll and a heavy sigh (which was totally unexpected since I said exactly what they wanted to hear. You’re welcome!).

The truth is that although I have visions of a handsome vegan raw food chef on a healthy groomed stallion knocking on my doorthe chances are that he will come by with a muddy truck and a steak in the back ready to turn charcoal on the BBQ.

Regardless of what diet choices “the father” eats my intentions will be the same: tnourish, educate and to support them through their own authentic life.

I won’t be seen cooking a steak for dinner purely because I don’t eat it and I gag at the thought of touching it. If my children choose to try or eat meat I certainly won’t disapprove of them eating certified organic meat if their father cooks it for them.

I believe everyone deserves to make their own life decisionson their dietary choices when given all of the information(except the certified organic, free ranged part as added toxins and hormones is something I truly wouldn’t want my children to consume).

I was told that if I only cook my children vegan foods because that’s what I wanted to eat, that would be selfish. Though, if Iwere a meat eater and cooked them steak when they preferred walnut taco mince instead, that would be fine and clearly the kids are just fussy.

I have never liked meat. Not only because of the taste but I couldn’t seem to chew it so most of it would be spat into a serviette when no one was looking. I had to try to eat it because that’s what my parents liked and wanted to eat for dinner. So although I preferred stir fried veggies for dinner but was given a t-bone steak instead, why weren’t my parents criticized and called selfish?

My parents weren’t called selfish because they believed I needed steak for iron and protein and weren’t aware of various other foods that could supply these nutrients. Eating meat was considered “normal” in our society and also because no one expects parents to make a different dish for dinner depending on each child’s preferred preferences.

So why are parents called selfish if they cook a nutritionally balanced meal without any animal products because they don’t like or believe it is benefitting their children’s health to leave out these foods? Why is it different from a meat eating family forcing their kids to eat meat because of their beliefs?

Even though there have been several studies to support feeding children on a balanced plant based diet , reporting it is extremely healthy and safe compared to a diet rich in animal based foods, there is still a stigma for the word vegan.

Recently I have seen more articles and news programs talking about the benefits of a plant based vegan diet and lifestyle. Many articles are about previous cancer suffers who have cured themselves by changing their dietary habits to vegan. More studies have also revealed hidden toxins from hormones in animal based products.

This brings hope that people will become aware of what a vegan diet actually consists of. The false claims of eating nothing but “rabbit food” and tofu will be replaced with a huge selection of foods that look and taste no different fromany other foods, but have the added health benefits of a vegan whole food diet.

Unfortunately the stigma and the false claims towards a vegan lifestyle won’t be changing any time soon.  It is slowly being recognised with more and more people taking on this beneficial lifestyle approach.

So by the time my raw food chef sweeps me off my feet hopefully there will be more awareness of how beneficial a whole food vegan diet is for children and adults that I won’t have to defend my choices of what food  I serve to my family.

 I would love to hear your thoughts on this!

Lisa x

 

 

 

 

 

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