“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.

Image result for people must know what i am eating before instagram

#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

Rib Fractures Suck

It’s been 12 days since I’ve done any physical activity apart from (slowly) walking, and I just started doing some squattings.

This is HARD.  I’ve taken training breaks before from injury, but never been THIS incapacitated.  In the past, I’ve been able to do some strength work, but this is HARD.

Yesterday, I met with a strong group of my close friends as a goodbye before I leave on Thursday to live my life out in British Columbia.  It was absolutely incredible.

The sweetest part of viewing the blessings of the family you choose, aka, your friends, is that with whom we surround ourselves, are a direct reflection of us.

So maybs I’m self-horn-tooting, but like, that means we’re all just really damn cool people!

I took a second while we were all sitting together cozy like in a cafe, to look and observe at the scene:Steve-Carell-Smile-Crying.gif

And thought how grateful I was to have all these phenomenal human beings in my life.  I don’t usually do gatherings like this, I don’t often celebrate my birthday with friends.  But I really wanted to have a goodbye to the close people who are always with me wherever I go.

It was incredible.  Thank you all.

We talked the beauty of nature, and they were so supportive and loving of how they felt I belonged in the woods #wherenoonehearsmyfartsbutthetrees

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I cannot wait to be in nature.  I forgot how much I’ve missed and needed it.  It’s been so long since I’ve been humbled by rugged trail and peace.  Toronto is loud and busy.

My rib is healing slow.  In this time, my mental strength is being tested, as well as my intuition.  I’m learning to hear my body, and live presently so that I can honour my needs.  As I’ve not trained in so long, it is a tricky time often to hear the restrictive voice of my mind with my old coping, and tell it to STFU.  Honestly, fuck the weight, fuck the struggle.  I don’t have energy enough to care for restriction and a half ass-life.

Nature, being out there, really puts the present moment in focus.  It takes away the mindgames we play, and puts real life right here and now.  There’s no time or space for restriction.  The body is totally our conduit for the experience, and is must be honoured or else, no experience.  Simple as that!

I’m eating and fuck it, I am getting healthy, in rest, and my body has done this for a reason.  The body always communicates with us.  Right now, it’s telling me to chill.  I’ve actually started watching Netflix for the first time (thank you Corinne).

I miss feeling physically strong, truly.  I feel at loss.  I won’t jeopardize my healing before I leave on Thursday (Nov 30th) to my new life out west.  The mountains are waiting for me, and I’ll climb em soon enough.  But right now, I chill, heal, rest.

Take a Step Back

Taking a step back from the monkey mind and stepping out of the cycle of struggle brings huge insight.

Image result for meme take a step back

This morning had me waking up before my alarm, in parallelled anxiety over my training.  I’ve strained my rib probably hard enough to go to the doctor to get an x-ray, but equally pointless because the treatment for any rib injury (break, strain, fracture, sprain) is the same: rest.

I strained my rib from blowing my nose too enthusiastically, apparently…my cold left me phlegmy, and my inability to sit with the discomfort of feeling like there’s a tiny pug napping while slowly sliding down the back of my throat had me blowing and blowing and blowing my nose.  So my back seized up after a strain I’m self-diagnosing from my over-active diaphragm.

The inability to sit with discomfort is a never ending cycle – until I choose to end it.  I challenged the phlegm, and I’m not challenging this rib pain now.  I ran and biked through it yesterday, and suffered.  Breathing hurts.  So this morning, I didn’t push through a swim, that wouldn’t be enjoyed, for zero training gains.

Allostatic Load of Stress:  This means that the cortisol I’d produce by stressing over the pain, paired with attempting to swim in a way to avoid the pain, would negate any training benefits I would gain from actually doing my training session in the pool.

So in taking a step back, in breaking the cycle of my mind’s compulsion of unhealthy habits with stress addiction, I was able to see the wisdom I had all along.  The wisdom inside myself got clouded by my mind games of:

  • not good enough
  • only good when ______
  • badge of honour with stress
  • stress addiction

Image result for meme take a step back

Breathing helped (shallow…bc #ribpaintingz), by honestly putting my hand on my heart and feeling what my body needed, not what habits I’d accustomed myself to through years of body dishonouring.

And where has that body dishonouring got me?

Injured.
Sick.
Miserable.
Stuck in a pattern.
NOT helping others because I WASN’T living “my truth” or the truth that I condone.

So, I ate breakfast, showered, went for a walk, visited my grampa.

Now, I’m sharing this insight, of the power in taking a step back to view the situation.  I’m meeting with a friend who’s helping me with my move out to British Columbia, and I’m speaking with a mentor from my Holistic Nutrition school in New Zealand, a fellow Canadian, and wicked smart woman Michelle Yandle of Michelle Yandle Nutrition for guidance as I continue on my journey as a Wellness Practitioner.  I’m so keen to help others through the insight I’ve gained with my own struggles, and what I’ve trained in.  I’m also looking for tools from other successful practitioners like Michelle, who’s helped many people not so much through the actual food aspect of Holistic Health, but the encompassing triggers and emotional baggage and meaning behind the food.  THAT is The Shit.

Have a sweet day,  I’m going to be present as fuck, because the monkey mind comes back with thought suggestions, but I’m going to watch them and choose from a space of wisdom with big picture intention tingz.

Also….I love this song:

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).

How I Overcame my Eating Disorder: Forest Greenwell

Forest is a dear friend of mine who I met when I first moved home to Toronto from New Zealand.   She was behind the counter at a cafe I walked into, in a state of low, really ungrounded and upset.  She immediately took me to the back kitchen, leaving the front counter, and sat me down for an hour without blinking an eye, wordlessly signalling to the staff to cover for her.

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She is one hell of a woman, and has founded the wellness initiative Her Habitat, a safe space for anyone to share their struggles that accompany our belonging to this collective human condition called Life.  She connects people and helps the world feel supported; her purpose is brilliantly described in the powerful statement;

You are not alone.

Bless her soul.

She is a warrior of a myriad of Life’s journeys, and battles on while dancing, singing, and doing really cool shit.

Here is her story:

My Eating Disorder Journey:

For a significant part of my life, foods purpose wasn’t to nourish me. I used it to mask, unplug, hide from my feelings. I fluctuated constantly between states of starvations and near illness from binging. I hated my body because I was always tired and never felt good, I hated my mind because I felt weak for giving in to either side of such an intense spectrum, and consequently I hated my friends who had healthy relationships with food. I hated my clothes that never consistently fit me properly, I hated the emotions I was hiding from instead of dealing, and more than anything I hated anything that challenged my way to cope.

I am not proud to say that I actively chose to stop eating. I willingly chose Anorexia over health. I did this with the knowledge that it would get the attention of those around me, and that this would be an easier task than asking for help or doing the very hard work of implementing what I had learned in my years of therapy. I often found myself bingeing and soon my middle ground became Orthorexia instead of Anorexia. I was obsessive about eating healthy. It completely consumed me. And I was still bingeing – now I was just extending my stomach with fruits, veggies, and whatever else I had deemed healthy enough to be able to enter my body.

My breaking point mentally was in Wal-Mart. I was staying with my grandparents for a summer in British Columbia after I had finished high school, and they watched me suffer through hours of running, strict meal plans and timing, and forcing myself into yoga positions that didn’t heal me because I didn’t understand. I was grocery shopping and my grandmother asked me if I wanted any cookies.

Do you know what it’s like to be 18 and having a tantrum in Wal-Mart because your Grandmother asked if you wanted cookies?

I’ve never felt so ashamed in my entire life.

Not just of the reaction, or that situation, but also at my cart full of unsatisfying foods that were not healthy for my mind, not healthy for my soul, and ultimately not even balanced or nutritious enough to give me proper nourishment. I was withering away, moody, disrespecting those that loved me, and fighting against a body and a mind that were desperately needing to heal.

I spent hours meditating in the woods trying to find answers to this longing I had. This void I needed to fill, while simultaneously being terrified of what would happen if I was full. If I did feel joy. If I allowed myself to be human.

The answer was simple, and because of this, so much harder to face:

I was looking for attention.

That’s all it came down to for me. Even though I tried to make myself and my habits invisible I felt offended and unimportant that no one had intervened. I was upset that no one could see that I wasn’t healthy, I was hurting myself. But then I realized I could see it. I could see what I was putting myself through and it was only my job and responsibility to deal with that.

It still took me years to get out of the habit of purging and bingeing. I still fall back on it sometimes. It’s an easy way to remind myself of the “power” I have. It’s also a slap in the face when I feel like shit and realize that there is no one to blame but myself. Not my stress, not my work load, not my roommate or partner or friends. The way that I choose to deal with things, and also the things I choose not to face are not exempt from my hand just because I don’t feel up to dealing with it.

I think the biggest and most important part of my recovery was being accountable.

Yes, all of the tools I learned to avoid bingeing and purging are invaluable to me, and my own intuition and understanding of my body’s signals and messages are paramount. But just how I can take pride in what I am doing right and how far I’ve come, this also comes with the acknowledgement that sometimes I don’t do right by me. Sometimes I do give in to that cyclical pattern. But now I understand what it is, am learning more and more why. I’m finding that the more I’m aware of my triggers and emotions that sway me, the more inclined I am to be conscientious of my eating choices without being paranoid or obsessive about them either.

I can eat a slice of cake without worry about eating the whole cake, or about needing to starve myself before indulgence.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to her on any of her links for connection:

https://www.facebook.com/herhabitatblog/
https://www.instagram.com/herhabitatblog/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkrAlmDZwwsv_iyGr-4Vdxg/
https://twitter.com/herhabitat/

You.
Are.
Not.
Alone.

Jah bless xo