“I’m an MD/RHN/RN, here’s what I eat in a day”

I call this bullshit.

In a world already so disconnected from ourselves, these tempting motives to “solve our own routine conundrum” serve as confusing AF.  It’s like stevia: sweet, but the body is like “well shit, can I eat more now because that was calorie-free?” (you know? How many times have you tried to “trick” your body into thinking it’s satiated, and then the #headinfridge nighttime syndrome hits? And, sweetheart, when you say “I couldn’t help it”, that is OK.  It’s not lack of willpower.  It’s physiology, and it’s OK.)

Confusion.  Tempting at first, but also like the Finnish education system: it works for them, but you can’t take Des Linden’s stride, put her in a pool, and expect a Phelps #nahmean?

This is why I think “diets” in their very essence are dangerous to fall into.  Rules, rules rules rules, stress me out, and also calm parts of me.  It is so nice to think of a specific way of doing things that leads to health and is relatively simple to emulate.  But that’s the easy way out.  The way that calms the overwhelmed and fearful parts of us that are at a loss of what to do, and then just doesn’t serve the soul part that is all like “but listen to me, I know what’s best for Me!”

Like, side-note.  Is it just me, or is Intermittent Fasting the way of like 90% of Tinder dates right now?

Intermittent Fasting: can certainly serve some people, at some times.  But I’m fearful of the idea that it enables addiction.

I feel like I am straight up addicted to sensation from controlling all aspects of nourishment from food.  I’m using Food control and restriction and “allowing” bits of treats as a way to fuel my nourishment needs that I’m lacking in other aspects of my life.

Similarly, like Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, I am keeping myself stuck in the lower pyramid

Image result for maslow's hierarchy of need

This blah blah blah goes back to me not feeling “safe” in the world so I’m keeping myself “safe” #traumashit through physiological preoccupation.

Blah blah blah.

On this level, it’s simply a way to keep myself outside of myself.  Which is why it’s so tempting to look more outside of Me at what other people are doing, what helps them, the scared parts of myself think “Let’s do that!”  While inspiration is great, what if by listening in, checking in, the answers come to me.  What if by creating pathways of outer-dependency, I disconnect myself from the umbilical cord that’s like the cup-string telephone to the soul, (remember?)

Image result for cup string phone

Image result for cup string phone

Now back to the really somehow fascinating phenomenon that is looking at what people are eating on social media.  Enter hashtags:

#WIAW
#Paleo
#Keto
#IF
#cleaneats
#cheatday
#ifitfitsmymacros

ETCETCETC.

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#amiright?  What about “Fear of Finished Meal Syndrome”?  Do the RHN’s, RN’s, RD’s, MD’s get this, too?  (Do hooman’s breathe?)

Maybe we think that the hidden mind’s of these people are pristine such that they have not the pains we have?  Maybe they poop better?  Like,

“hey, she’s got toned-ass arms, her diet must be soooo perfect!! I will get arms and poops clean as hers if I eat exactly what she eats!”

Bullshit.

But also,  compassionate bullshit.  I hear this, I also feel this.  But I know my soul is calling out this human ego temptation because #slowcarb #fatfree #LCHF #vegan etcetcetc seems easy, but doesn’t work.  It only worked for me to get me more aware of the need to connect with myself more deeply.  So in this way, and in celebrating the idea that “the only way out is through”, I’m grateful.

I’ve been on a ride through Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia (no blaming here, but the “cheat day” from Tim Ferriss’s (sexiest bald man I know) #4HourBody fuckkked me up hard), Vegetarianism, Paleo, Anxiety, and has truly winded my path around like a rollercoaster.  Right now, my gut is speaking to me.  The powerful, resilient body perseveres through all the confusion, which is so damn beautiful.  Throughout all the ignoring, all the pain, all the anxiety, the body is here.  Not without scars, inside and outside, but it’s here.  It’s always here.  That’s what we’re born with.  We’re actually born with exactly all we need to thrive on this earth.

Similar to plants in nature, they use whatever is available near them at the time, in order to survive.  Each plant uses its own individual programming to absorb from the Earth what it possibly can to life the longest and most robust life.  Maybe a plant is healthier in different soils, but the internal ability for it to hear its needs are just that: internal.  So, an onion will need different things than it’s tomato neighbour.  Likewise, one onion might need different things than the onion beside it, that is closer to the cuke which changes its constituency.

So fuck, please, be wary of outside noise.  Just because an MD eats avo-toast erryday, doesn’t mean it’ll give you better poops.  I mean, it may; that shit’s great.  But listen in.  Get inspired, and then take the language outside and translate it into your own Mother Tongue for your individually resplendent body.  And also, listen to the whispers coming from your SOUL!

Fuck, it’s beautiful (thank you).

Love,
Mel

Why even Relax, Though?

S’Ho moved to Squamish.  I feel much better here than on the island.  It’s a different vibe here.  It was a really easy transition minus the actual move: I just truly put the intention out there, and a lovely little suite of my own surfaced.  It was right.

I’m in a space of working with compassion. Compassion for parts of me that trauma has led to feel really unsafe.  Somatic Experiencing is the therapy I’m doing which is basically a way for me to slowly reconnect with the parts of myself that I basically unplugged from the umbilical cord of my own prana, my own life force energy.

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You know when you’re in just like, a haze of feels, and can’t find a release? Man it’s tough; the face of the Human Condition.  Somatic Experiencing is a therapy modality that recognizes that through trauma, the young parts of ourselves that experienced the pain that was too much for our current coping abilities at that time in our lives, those parts learn to cope through fight, freeze or flight, so that they are able to survive.  They cannot handle the stimulation because it feels like a threat to survival, so they build an armour around those parts to shield, to blunt the blow.

I realized that the state of utter terror that I felt growing up, I still feel that during everyday life.  It was a big realization, not one for words.  It’s been a journey with the therapy, to experience a state of functioning that wasn’t the modality of terror; and in that space I could come outside of my habitual state of functioning to see just how frightened and threatened those parts of me still feel.  They still feel very threatened, and haven’t been taught how to feel safe and nurtured in the world.  The somatic, the bodily feeling that I was able to see outside of myself was a feeling like I was going to be beaten, physically, it was terrifying and terribly insightful.  WHOA.

They have begun to relearn how to feel safe in the world, this is what I’m teaching them, teaching parts of myself.  It doesn’t work to “suck it up” and “just do the things” that terrify me, and to name a few;

  • abiding by authority
  • rules
  • restrictions
  • control
  • time constraints

The way my little soldiers fight back when threatened show in the following fight/flight/flee ways;

  • skin picking
  • terrible gut pains and digestion
  • exercise
  • restriction of food
  • restriction of nurturing (in all senses of the world)
  • somatically by thumping heart
  • migraine
  • depression
  • indecision
  • mean self-talk
  • rushing like a chicken without a head

So this therapy is to begin by identifying when these soldiers are mobilizing; basically anytime the above presents itself.  Those are survival-mode soldiers.  The process is slow AF. And it’s supposed to be.  Because the moment I go too fast for my parts to feel safe, they latch onto a coping strategy.  This is where a quote sums this shit up eloquently:

I don’t “let go” of my thoughts.  I meet them with understanding, and then my thoughts “let go” of me. – Byron Katie

Beautiful description.  An explanation of why “ripping the bandaid off” won’t work.

I often forget why I’m changing, though, because this way of life has become so normal and change is fucking hard.  And parodies have showed up to reinforce the need for this shift; the need to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system– the relaxation response (that sweet spot that basically initiates our own knowledge of how to heal ourselves);

(in jot dots because Ho’s tired):

  • in physio for alignment while running; tight hip, tight glute, literally stemming from tension and stress where I am not belly-breathing, such that a rib isn’t aligned in my thoracic/lumbar spine area.  why breathe deep?  whoa this is why…body is so wise.
  • gut health: shits on run, shits all damn day, gut = second brain = depression and incomplete poops. worst. feeling. ever #amirighttho?  Relax, tune into my soul; make different food choices, or at least begin by watching and observing my choices and how they’re affecting my body.  Further than that- when eating in a relaxed state, food can actually digest better.
  • Cramp on run: alltheabove

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So the body is telling me and I’m actually beginning to watch myself, and am slowly actually becoming open and even able to feel that I want to relax.  This is so new.  Some things I’m doing:

  • child’s pose
  • letting my belly go out to breathe
  • unstructured meditation nightly
  • legs up the wall (did this once, forces body to belly breathe literally because the chest and shoulder muscles aren’t physically able to fire)
  • physio to flex at hip while breathing with full belly breaths, which actually disinhibits the response of my hip flexor firing in place of my glute

Ok, that’s it.

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A “Human” Professional

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Hi, my name is Melanie, and I’m a recovered Bulimic, and recovering Anorexia Nervosa monkey-minded human being.
I’ve sat with crippling depression, anxiety, and taken laxatives while scared shitless of the idea of imperfection.
I’ve run trails in a healthy state, and I’ve also gone to morning swim practice in Uni while probs still drunk from the bar having come home a couple hours before.
I’ve aced papers, and I’ve also retaken courses.
I’ve googled ways to purge, tried many, and I’ve searched the shit out of the internet about how to heal.
I’ve gone to India to become a certified Yoga instructor, and I’ve pranayama’d the shit out of datstuff.
I’ve traveled across the world to New Zealand and am now a certified Holistic Nutritionist.
I’ve been a vegetarian, I’ve done Paleo, I’ve hashtagged #lchf like it’s going out of style, and I’ve been a devout “I Quit Sugar” spokesperson.
I’ve gone from eating full tubs of sugar-free/fat-free yogurts with 8 packets of TwinSugar in one sitting, to beef jerky.
I’ve found that food isn’t as important as the emotions behind it, and that sugar is OK.
My beliefs have changed more times than pugs fart (and they fart a lot….#teamantipugs).
I’ve learned that you can’t hate yourself into a version of yourself you can love, and that you can’t find yourself in New Zealand, or anywhere other than inside yourself, for that matter.
I’ve learned that happiness has no correlation to your pants size, bra size, or bathing suit size.
I’ve learned that being present is the most important part of life, and that awareness brings solace in darkest of times.
I’ve observed myself self-numbing, escaping, and also sitting right with pain; a bloated belly post-binge, an emotional smack in the face after a sexual abuse, a stress fracture from literally running away from myself.
I’ve honoured and dishonoured myself, and I’ve fluxed the shit out of life.
And through it all, I am exactly where I am today, flawed as ever, and loving myself anyways and always.

No one is perfect, and no one will ever be a “certified perfect professional”, in my humble opinion.

I’m certainly not, and this by no means takes away from the ability for someone to have a gift to help, myself, or anyone else.  In fact, the warriors with battle wounds, healed and healing are the ones I connect with and trust the most.

I’ve been afraid of sharing my story lately, uncensored, because of the stigma of mental health shame, and the thought of being unhirable in flaw.

Fuck.
That.
Shit.

This is me, there’s you, let’s do this shift.

2:57AM Le Hungry

Sometimes hunger doesn’t come in pangs of stomach notifications, like waking up with a headache and some intuition saying “eat”. I went to bed after being too tired to expend the honestly exhausting energy #tuningin to see if I was full after eating a snack. Maybe this is where the core cause is #lettinggo of the need to be “perfectly” sated. I honestly think I was so tired of the mind games, paired with being end-of-day-wiped, that I was just in a #fuckit place and hit the pillow, not feeling like living up to my own standards of eating “just right”.

That was another form of escapist-numbing, I now see. And also of rubbish high standards of perfectionist ways. Well, I’m eating now, and it’s a learning lesson that “perfect” is bullshit. And even in this imperfection there’s beauty of self-discovery and awareness.

Awareness is key.

Also: yes, I genuinely enjoy Brussels sprouts. #maybethisiswhyimsingle

Gaining Weight & a Stress-Tracking App

I’ve been told that I look “stronger” and that I have gained some weight and look better.
These are great things.  My mind thinks otherwise though.  So many thoughts go through my head:

  • I now must be able to train really hard (but am still injured)
  • I still have some of my habits going – and if I am gaining weight, then I should instantly let go of them and have an untethered life (meal stringency, control over all things – I feel like now my whole concept that I condone of “living intuitively” should happen instantaneously)
  • When will it stop?  What am I going to become?  What will I feel like when I no longer have my life preoccupied over my habits, routines?
  • If I have more free space, what the hell do I do?

I want to continue observing these thoughts and choosing to heal anyways.

I want to trust that things take time, I ran for the first time in a month this past Saturday, 3.75km, 17 mins, and I stopped before I felt that I wanted to.  I did my walking loop, and it felt empowering to stop before my mind wanted to.  I am going to be getting back slowly.  Slower than comfortable.  I want to work on strength, my one-legged squats, “one-legged lateral BOSU ball hops”, ankle mobility, etc.  I need to get my body ready for trails.  And the fact that I’ve gained weight doesn’t mean that I’m like 100% able to go on long-ass trail runs now.  My fascia and tendons will need time to become adjusted, to feel recovery.

I’m sitting at a cafe now and so glad I bumped into a friend of mine who has also battled.  She told me that she still has these thoughts, but she trusts that they’re fleeting, that this too shall pass.

I am looking forward to being capable:

healthy enough to doallthethings

Clare Gallagher, wicked cool trail runner, refer to pic below for clarification of status: Bae

I have to remind myself that if I am so present with myself in the moments of my life, then I trust that I will listen to my needs, and deny the hurt from myself.  I don’t feel like my soul will lead me astray.

I won’t become a “whale”.

I know that to do what I want to do, to live the life I want to live, the body I’ve sculpted as a byproduct of my coping mechanisms won’t be able to handle it. I know that my muscles, fascia, bones and blood won’t be able to traverse all the rugged terrain, all the fallen logs, all the boulders that I want to catapult myself over.  In the state that I’ve been in, if I tripped, I could easily and instantly break a hip.  My soft tissue wouldn’t be supple enough to allow my limbs to soar, they’d taught and tight and constrict.  I’m sick of foam rolling (PVC pipe) for an hour a day only to not be in pain.  And my training load doesn’t merit the amount of strain my body feels.  Food is wicked recovery.  I want to remember this when the shit voice comes in.

I want my mind to have the fuel for my being not to be in a fight or flight mode which restriction ensues.  I had a private swim coaching client this AM, and I actually had the mind stamina to be able to use my wicked skills that I innately have, to analyse her stroke and tell her how to improve. These analytical tools are lost when I’m undernourished.  There’s straight up no fuel for the synapse of neurons to THINK.

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Women like this make me feel hopeful, alive, like, damn straight – focus less on food, more on life, food is great, and awareness is key – healthy is a universal term for honouring all of ourselves.

I have to be aware of my stress load for this shit.  I have been tracking my stress via Logit AI Logit AI from a good friend of mine.  I highly recommend you check it out.  It’s an app that quantifies stress.

Stress is pretty much an invisible illness – and the notion of Allostatic load (I talk about this in my upcoming e-booklet Fuck Diets- 10 ways to Stress Less, and Weigh Healthy”).

Allostatic Load of Stress: the body doesn’t differentiate between different stressors. Be it the load of an ill family member, the physical load of athletic training, or the fact that you’re anxious over what to eat for dinner; the body only registers this as threat, and engages in the fight or flight reaction.

Basically, the Logit App prompts a questionnaire daily that with time, you can grasp a relative gage of your stress levels.  I’m bringing this up now, because despite being sick with a gnarly cold, and getting shit sleeps because I’m moving to British Columbia in 24 days (without a job or home yet), and a loud grenouille living above me…. my state of mind has been spot on sweet like gravy.  It’s actually surprising me.  I feel much less stressed, and the numbers show it, the “proof is in the pudding”.  (my logit scores are in a pic below).

Even my shits are better #jahbless

It’s actually kinda blowing my mind, first: how useful this app has been, and I’m not even one to log shit. I don’t really love data, online apps for things the body is innately born to calibrate….but the accountability, and the ability to consistently track how I feel, it’s helped me see the benefits of lowering my stress, and I definitely need this to get my period back and beat Hypothalamic Amenorrhea.  It keeps me in line, motivated, true to the ultimate goal.  The fact that the data is relative based on my previous logs (after about a week, you get the hang of it, and get more accurate data – the more you log, the more accurate your outcomes are) is a good feedback loop for motivation.  If it was based on other people’s cues, I would truly be less inclined to log. But it’s basically a relative reflection based on my own feelings, my own stress, my own perceived cortisol load.

SO, in spite of being sick and tired, my spirits are great.  I am so grateful for this feedback while I observe myself “getting stronger” (gaining weight), and am wondering if the fact that my cortisol is lower (be it from my mindset of “fuck this shit”, like, letting go of control) is a reason for my coping mechanisms (Anorexia, restriction) to lessen their stronghold because I am no longer putting myself in the line of fire for needing to be in a “survival mode” state, or a state of desperation.

Here are my numbers:

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My Logit Scores for the past month

Some of the daily questions include my perceived ability to:

  1. Get annoyed
  2. Find things overwhelming
  3. Feel capable to completing tasks
  4. Feel under pressure
  5. Laugh/have fun with friends (like when my swim student swam backstroke into an old Portuguese man this AM…and like, stroked his [hairy…very hairy] back hahahh…poor woman).

My answers have surprised me in being on the healthy side of life, less suffering, more feeling good.  I feel good in spite of gaining weight (HA, my mind wants not to feel good, even while typing this, but physiologically, this is a really influential marker for recovery – mental, spiritual, physical, emotional).

Fuck the struggle

On this note, that’s my update, I’ll continue getting STRONGER, fuck diets, and listen to my own tips from my e-book.  I actually am loving referring back to them when I feel stuck in life, they’re damn good.  Stay tuned for the launch!

ED Warriors Know:

Yesterday, I instagrammed these:

ED Warriors know it’s a different ball game to say #fuckit and change habits. Mind goes all “butthinkofthechildren” aka BUT WHAT IF IT’S NOT THE SAME MACROS AS YOUR BERRY OMELETTE?!

What if it’s got more sugar?

Are apples going to make me lose control?

Do I deserve to sleep in and not cook my eggs?

I’m so damn glad I’m in a space where I can watch those thoughts, and then tell them to fuck off.

These muffins are good. I’ll eat two, thanks. 

With cheese and butter (ghee).

Recipe: from joyfulhealthyeats

CINNAMON APPLE MUFFINS #paleo #forthelikes: Apples have been a #fearfood ish kinda thing and no more are any #fucksgiven so bitchmademuffins #homade.

Recipes to me are like rules: made to be broken. I muddled round with this recipe, used almond and flax, added raisins, cashews, baking pow instead of soda bc #thatswhatihad. Turned out #prettynicelittlesaturday 👌🏻:

Ingredients

½ cup of coconut oil, melted

¼ cup of pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon of vanilla

6 eggs

½ cup of coconut flour

½ teaspoon of cinnamon

¼ teaspoon of baking soda

½ teaspoon of fine sea salt

1 apple -peeled (#nope) and diced (Mel’s modifications here bc don’t tell me one CUP apples – #theydontcomelikethat).

Bang Head Here

Grasping: the act of holding on to something, anything, under the belief that it’s the answer to all problems. 

What do I grasp for when I feel dis-ease?

  • Can’t run? At least I can ride.
  • Can’t find peace in Toronto? At least there’s other space in the world.
  • Rain? Indoor trainer.
  • Out of coffee? Go to cafe.
  • No wifi? I’ll use my data.
  • No eggs? I’ll buy some.
  • Didn’t get the job? Another one will come. 

Alternatives are great. There’s merit to adaptability, faith and trust.  My purpose in this post is about how this is all a form of filling a gap, filling a “supposed” gap. Filling space. But what happens if that space is left empty?

I’m filling space right now. My laptop’s broken, and I’m jonesin for my fingers to type in the search engine for the comfort of knowing I’m working towards finding a job on Vancouver island. So I’m writing about this feeling. I’m writing this on my phone as an alternative. 

Behind the filling of space to use my phone is the filling of space to find a job. I didn’t get the job I applied for in Tofino at The Homestead. The job was at a retreat centre where I would be a yoga instructor and holistic wellness practitioner. I allowed myself to feel like this job completed me. I felt pretty down after finding out that the retreat was shutting (had to laugh bc phone autocorrected that to shitting…) down for winter and there was no job for me. I was to be the hostess and caretaker of the place during the winter season as they’re an Airbnb. What really shook me, was the I got the call (e-mail….and I called back) after sharing my social media platform info which is not discrete about my journey in fighting Eating Disorder. 

And so, I felt like it might be that this was the reason for the decline of my position. I felt like💩.  Is mental health battling a reason for being unhirable? I asked if there was anything in my application that I should be aware of for future applications that may have been deferents for hiring. She said no.

You know what I did then? I went in my IG and took “ED Warrior” off my description. I only put it back on yesterday. 

What I realized: RIGHT NOW, I have everything I need to be the practitioner of my soul’s calling. Not when I get “the job”. Not if I eat _______. Not if I get 7.8K IG followers. But now. Any place I expend this energy in, is only a platform. But right now, this is me and I have all I need. So, damn straight I’m an ED warrior.

I can easily fill space, find alternatives with another job, a bike ride, a steak…but to sit with the space unfilled, damn. 

Can I bang my head now? I think I think too much.

I’ve saved a wicked (long….read it in #pigeonpose, very worth the read) article to share which expresses this concept. I highly recommend you read it: https://tinybuddha.com/blog/connect-with-yourself-in-a-world-designed-to-distract-you/

No grasping, trusting. No biking today, no “certainty”, no saviour in any alternative, only the beat of my own heart and breath right now. 

And everything is alright forever and forever and forever.