Happy first week of October!

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Like pretty much every girl out there, fall is my favorite season. I’m all about the Uggs, leggings, scarves, pumpkin-everything, hot cocoa, bonfires, pretty leaves, football… I mean the list is seriously never-ending.

So naturally I’m very excited that October is finally here. And what better way to kick it off than with apple picking and country music?

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My two best friends and I spent all day Saturday (and I really mean ALL DAY) at Weekend in the Country. It was so much fun but pretty chilly and wet with the rain. Still… totally worth freezing our butts off and $10 beers to see Sam Hunt, Kelsea Ballerini, Parmalee and Brantley Gilbert! Loved it all, especially with the two lovely girls I got to experience my first Saturday in the Country with!

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And of course , no first week of fall would be complete without apple picking. Courteney and I went to Blevin’s Fruit Farm in PA and got a whole basket full. So delicious 🙂

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I’m super excited for this weekend too… a joint birthday party tomorrow night and then off to see Dan & Shay and Kelsea Ballerini in concert with my best friend. Can’t wait!

 

Weekend recap: Taste of 3 Cities, road trip & birthday festivities

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Happy Monday morning! The weekend flew by as always and it was a busy one but a fun one, for sure. Those are the best kinds of weekends I think. The ones where I almost need another weekend just to recover from the one I had. Not because I’m hungover or feel like crap but because I was just running around nonstop from Saturday morning to Sunday night. Here’s a little recap of what I did:

Saturday morning:

My gift to my mom and grandma for Mother’s Day was tickets to Taste of 3 Cities food truck festival in Patterson Park. The weather was absolutely perfect and there was such a variety of different food trucks… it was so hard to choose!

I ended up getting a grilled cheese sandwich made with Swiss cheese, Dijon mustard and apple butter on sourdough bread from Mad Dash Grilled Cheese. It was absolutely delicious! And of course I had some fresh-squeezed lemonade and a giant chocolate chip cookie for dessert 🙂

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Saturday evening:

After the festival, I headed out towards the Chesapeake Bay for the night to visit my best friend who is home for the summer. We went to her friend’s farm and just hung out with some of her high school friends and some Bud Light. It was so great to be reunited with my favorite girl and just to get out to the country for a little while. Where she lives is absolutely GORGEOUS (the pictures of the sunset below are proof!).

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Sunday:

And finally, Sunday was my little sister’s 22nd birthday!! We had a family get together to celebrate, complete with a delicious pasta meal, homemade desserts and of course a lot of laughs. I’m so blessed to have an amazing, talented and beautiful younger sister. She is an inspiration and a role model. Not to mention completely crazy and hilarious! She loved the How To Train Your Dragon card I got her that came with a pretty cool inflatable sword 🙂

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All in all, it was a terrific weekend spent with family and friends. Can’t wait for another great one coming up!

Today I realized I am more than my body

I was scrolling through my Instagram feed this morning when it hit me: pretty girls are a dime a dozen. Seriously. Look at enough pictures of perfect hair, perfect skin, perfect faces, perfect bodies and you’ll realize that being “pretty” isn’t really all that special.

Because everyone can be pretty. Sure, it might take a little more work for some but anyone can have a six pack, blonde hair or a golden tan if they want it.

But you know what everyone can’t be? YOU.

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That is what sets you apart, that is what makes you special. Not what’s inside your closet but what’s inside your heart. Not the size of your body but the size of your dreams. Not the amount of time you spend at the gym but the amount of time you spend loving those that matter.

There will always be someone more pretty, more thin or more fit than you, but there can never be anyone more you than you.

Accept that, appreciate that, love that, believe that. More importantly, believe in yourself, in your passions, in what you have to give. Because you have so much more to offer the world than just a pretty face.

And the world NEEDS that from you. Your family, friends, people you haven’t met yet… they all need that from you. They need your love, your joy, your spirit, your smile.

Those are the qualities and the things that set you apart, that make you special. They are what make you beautiful. They are what will make your life worthwhile and fulfilling and wonderful.

I know it’s hard to believe in that, to believe that it truly is what’s inside of you that makes you attractive. It’s something I still struggle with everyday but it’s something I’m coming to realize more and more as I grow in my recovery and my life. A beautiful soul comes from being a better daughter, a better sister, a better friend, a better person.

So stop comparing yourself. Remember you are more than your body. The beauty of your heart is what sets you apart. ❤

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Weekend camping trip to Elk Neck State Park

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Let me start by saying I am not outdoorsy. My idea of “camping” is a climate controlled cabin with indoor plumbing and a nice kitchen.

So when some friends invited me to go tent camping for the weekend, I hesitantly agreed. And then immediately regretted my decision. As Friday approached, I grew more and more nervous… and resentful that I was choosing to waste an entire weekend on an activity I was SURE I would hate.

When Friday night rolled around, I almost cancelled. But, with one last longing look at my comfy bed, I grabbed my new Eddie Bauer backpack and sleeping bag and headed out on my adventure to Elk Neck State Park, a gorgeous park right on the Chesapeake Bay.

And guess what? I LOVED IT.

I loved it so much, I may be on the REI website as I write this, looking at prices of tents! 😉

It was an awesome weekend and I could not be happier that I forced myself out of my comfort zone to go. Just proves how rewarding trying new things and letting down our guard can be!

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Here’s a little weekend recap:

– I set up a tent for the first time in my life. And surprisingly, was not as difficult as I’d imagined! The temperature was perfect for sleeping too. Upper 60’s, low humidity and the best breeze.

– We had amazing campfire meals. Eggs and hash browns for breakfast, spaghetti carbonara for lunch (courtesy of the Italian exchange students on our trip!) and burgers and grilled eggplant for dinner. And of course, you can’t forget s’mores. Took me right back to Girl Scout trips in elementary school. Nothing like warm, chocolate-y, gooe-y marshmallow goodness!

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– We went hiking to see the lighthouse on the bay and spent Saturday afternoon on the camp beach. The weather couldn’t have been better and it was just gorgeous scenery. The perfect way to unwind, disconnect from technology and get away for a weekend!

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I’m so happy the camping trip was a success and I definitely want to go a lot more in the future. I still don’t think I’m an “outdoorsy” girl yet (the thought of slimy bugs and peeing in the woods makes me want to curl up and cry) but I did surprise myself this weekend. Here’s to more camping adventures to come and exploring beautiful places!

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Recovery and never feeling full

When was the last time you felt full after eating? Hopefully, it was at your last meal. Because that’s kind of the point of eating. Satisfying your body until the next time you need some more fuel in the tank.

But lately, I never feel full. And it’s terrifying.

first burger in over a year!
first burger in over a year!

I can eat twice the amount of my friends and still be wanting more. Sometimes it’s not even a physical hunger but more of a mental hunger. I just want more food.

Needing “above average” amounts of food made sense to me when I was still underweight and trying to gain weight. It would also make sense if suddenly I had started working out a lot or had a very active job.

But none of those things are true. I’m at a healthy, restored weight (and have been for over a year now), sit at a desk job all day and rarely work out except for walking and some yoga.

So why am I never full?

I’m realizing the answer is pretty simple. I’m never full because my body is still repairing itself.

Even though it’s been over a year and a half since I was discharged from inpatient treatment, my body still needs to fix the damage I’ve done. Because if I’m being 100% honest, I’ve relapsed a few times in the past year and lately have found myself in a somewhat restrictive mindset.

Breaking free of that and letting myself eat whatever and whenever I want is of course going to trigger a huge, seemingly unquenchable appetite. Because my body is rejoicing that is finally getting the nutrients and energy it needs. My body is crying out in happiness, it is shouting for more, it’s praying that it continues to get fuel to thrive.

As soon as my body realized I have the ability to feed it, it has kicked my hunger into overdrive. It’s trying to make up for the days I under-ate, even if just by a little. It’s trying to make up for the days I skipped meals, the days I didn’t listen to my hunger signals, the days I tried to be “good”.

So yes, never feeling full and having extreme hunger this far into recovery is scary. I’m terrified by it. But I also know the only way out is through it. The only way to get better is to keep eating no matter what because being constantly hungry is actually a positive sign that my body is working and my metabolism is a speedy little demon. We have to trust our bodies because they know what WE need. Not what the girl in the office next to me needs. Not what my sister needs. But what I need.

Not to mention, never being full is the perfect excuse to eat endless macaroni and cheese and chocolate covered pretzels. 🙂

Why I write about my eating disorder and recovery

It’s been a few months since I posted last. Not just because life got busy but because I needed some time to think about where my blog was heading, where I wanted it to go.

To be honest, I was worried that writing about recovery was doing more harm than good. I felt like maybe the whole goal of recovery was to move on to better things, to not think about my eating disorder, to start fresh. I felt like maybe writing about eating disorders and recovery was going to keep me stuck in that world forever, always defined as the girl who had an eating disorder.

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So I took a few months. Months that were filled with new friends, new experiences and a LOT of self-reflection. Months that had good days and bad days, ups and downs, successes and relapses.

And at the end of those months, I came to a pretty simple conclusion.

My eating disorder will always be a part of me. It may not have the hold on me that it used to, but it’s still there and it always will be, even if it’s just as an old memory. I can’t just start over and pretend that it never happened. I can’t ignore something that has played such a major role in shaping who I am today.

Which is why I’ve decided to dedicate this blog to documenting my personal experience in recovery from anorexia and disordered eating and to help other women going through similar struggles. What I’ve gone through and what I continue to go through is unfortunately way too common today and I hope sharing some of what I’ve learned can make a difference in at least one other woman’s life.

Because when you restrict food, you restrict happiness. You restrict love, friendships and joy. And that’s no way to live. ❤

 

recipe: homemade chex mix in the slow cooker

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like most adults, i have a slow cooker. unlike most adults, though, i rarely use it. mostly because i don’t feel grown up enough for things like preparing dinner before i leave for work in the morning. i’m all about the grilled cheese or pasta life that takes about 10 minutes max and zero effort.

but last saturday night, i had a free evening for once and wanted to make something special for the superbowl and, since i’m not much for laboring in the kitchen, wanted a simple, hands-off recipe. which is how i came across a slew of chex mix recipes on pinterest that can be made in the crockpot! the one i used was from one of my favorite blogger girls ever over at Gimme Some Oven.

i was a little skeptical though because, even though i LOVE chex mix and salty snacks, i wasn’t sure how a recipe so easy with so little ingredients could generate the intense flavors that the chex mix you buy at the grocery store has.

i was very pleasantly surprised when, 2 hours later, my chex mix was an absolute success! the buttery, salty yumminess that i drizzled over the cereal had soaked through every piece and tasted almost exactly like what comes out of the bag.

(side note: i ended up having to work through the superbowl so didn’t make it to the party that i made the chex mix for. which turned out to be a blessing in disguise though because you better believe i have been enjoying that chex mix allllll week by myself. aka it is already all gone : )

another side note: more proof that i am still not an adult… i actually had to call my mom while i was at the grocery store to ask what/where worcestershire sauce was…

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recipe: crockpot chex mix

(original recipe here)

ingredients:

  • 6 TBSP butter, melted and hot
  • 1 TBSP seasoned salt
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce (does anyone else have as much trouble pronouncing this as I do??)
  • 2 cups pretzels*
  • 8 cups Rice Chex*
  • 2 cups Cheerios *

* definitely feel free to play around with these ingredient combos. the recipe i based mine off of used peanuts and different kinds of chex. some almonds or cashew pieces might also be good!

  1. Throw all your dry ingredients (cereal, pretzels, nuts, etc) into the crockpot.
  2. Mix the hot, melted butter with the seasoned salt until it dissolves; then add in the Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Pour the mixture into the crockpot with the dry ingredients and toss until evenly coated. Turn crockpot on low.
  4. Let cook for 2-3 hours (depending on how hot your cooker gets/how many ingredients you use). Stir every half hour. This is important so that it does not burn on the bottom!
  5. When it’s done, lay the mix out on parchment paper or foil to cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!