Posts tagged eating disorders
Relationship with Food Series Part 3: Seeing our Food and Body Image Struggles Collide

Last week in our relationship with food series we talked about the importance of safely, and from a distance, going on a little exploration journey. I asked you to look back at some of your stories and personal history with food to learn from it and view it with as much kindness as you could muster. For me, the first step in improving my relationship with food was taking an honest look at where I was with food, acknowledging that I was struggling and where that struggle was actually coming from. The very next step was taking inventory. I had to look back at my history with food and all the damage that going on endless diets had done, understanding that so many of my struggles with overeating and emotional eating came from this self-imposed restriction and focus on control and perfectionism. Soon after going on this little self discovery journey, it was time for me to see a different side of the equation, and it’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Body image was what was usually behind many of my habits with food and exercise and yet it was so incredibly difficult for me to see. So much of my focus was on healing what I considered to be my only problem: I would sit down to eat and paid no attention to my body’s cues, I would overeat until the point in which I was severely uncomfortable, and I would emotionally eat using food as my only coping tool to deal with difficult emotions. Just as I hadn’t seen the negative role restriction had played in my relationship with food, I would only see food as the culprit, food as the problem, food as my nemesis, food as something I needed to gain control over.

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Relationship with Food Series Part 2: Riding our Bikes Through our Food Stories

I’m so excited to bring you part 2 of our relationship with food series. Last week we talked about getting started on this journey by digging in deep, and noticing where were are when it comes to our relationship with food. I shared what really changed when I decided to look into these issues, and I talked about how every year this is a process of self discovery in which I get to see different sides to it and I continue to heal and make peace with food.

Today’s topic will be a bit shorter than last week’s because most of the work is going to be done by you, at home. Yes, there will be a bit of homework for you, as we’ll probably have in most of the episodes and posts in this series.

One fun little fact about the topic at hand today is that my whole process of healing my relationship with food began with looking into my food stories to share them with you. It was all in an old blog I used to have, and sadly I hadn’t realized (and wouldn’t realize for a while), that those stories were going to mark the beginning of a journey for me.

In fact when I dug into these stories the first time, I could only see the instances in which I was overeating, emotionally eating, sometimes bingeing, and was looking through them as a way to find how on Earth I was going to restrict and eliminate those behaviors through weight loss attempts. I had not yet seen what I told you about last week, that my stories of restricting foods and dieting had been the source of the problem, yet I had ignored them and focused on what I thought the “bad” habits with food were. I hadn’t seen what I know now, that my past history with dieting and restriction had been the cause, not the aftermath of so many of my issues with food. Back then I also hadn’t seen how my stories with body image and feelings toward my body had in many cases preceded my efforts to diet and restrict.

This is why looking at our stories with food and body image, exercise, dieting, emotional eating, etc., are so important when it comes to healing our relationship with food. It’s why today I’m going to ask you to get on a bike and ride next to your food stories and see what you discover.

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Lessons Learned in Parks Part 2: On Body Image and Body Diversity

If you read or listened to last week’s episode you probably heard all about the happy-go-lucky dog and the fountain kids that taught me a big lesson when it comes to going vegan. In today’s episode and post on lessons learned in parks this summer, I’m going to share what happened when I was surrounded by hundreds of people, within an enclosure, and everyone was wearing swimming attire and having fun in the sun. It of course has to do with body image, and so much of the content we’ve already talked about here, in series like our Bikini Revolution Series (part 1, part 2 and part 3), and our Body Image Series (part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4).

One thing you need to know about me is that although I love the fun of a theme or amusement park, and especially the childlike vibes I get from being in a place like that, I also have a severe dislike of rollercoasters, seemingly scary or dangerous rides, or anything that is meant to trick me into believing I’m about to plummet to my death. Carlos on the other hand, loves this! He loves the adrenaline, he loves the paralyzing fear beforehand, he loves the seconds on the top of a rollercoaster and that 3 second linger before the fall. He’s a weirdo. I’m more like a dog, if I see a glass floor with a ravine underneath I ‘aint stepping on that thing!

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Dealing with Difficult Emotions, Depression, Sadness or Anxiety after Going Vegan

One of the topics I get the most questions about here at Brownble are the vegan side effects, aka, what are some of the symptoms you might experience when switching to a vegan diet. I talk a lot about the physical changes you might experience when going vegan in this post, and I also cover some of the special, more emotional side effects of going plant based in this post, but today I wanted to talk about a comment and question that has been popping up quite frequently these past few months. It's the question of whether or not it's normal to experience difficult emotions, sadness, anxiety or depression when you go vegan. 

There are so many resources when it comes to physical health and some of those physical changes one might go through, we hear endless talks about improvements in bloodwork, changes in digestive health, among others, but you know me, I love to give it to you straight, and since I consider talking about the negatives just as important as talking about the positives, and since I also consider mental health and well being just as important (and part of) physical health, I thought it was time to talk about these issues.

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Body Image Series: Behind the Curtain of Control

After a teary eyed episode last week, I'm finally here for part 4, the last installment of our body image series (at least for the time being). We've gone through so many aspects of our struggles with body image in the series. In part 1 I told you all about my rock bottom moment when it comes to body image and the fantastic tools that pulled me out of that place. In part 2 we discussed what the research is now showing when it comes to body image, body image resilience, and using the low points as jumping off points to slowly improve your relationship with your body. We also talked about self care (not self control or focusing on changing our bodies in order to love, appreciate and look after them). To me, acts of self care were one of the secrets to coming to a new relationship with my body and with food. In part 3, we talked about what happens when we have a different body, either due to illness, disability or circumstance, and I again told you about a painful/joyful part of my life, where I learned so much about what it means to navigate this beauty obsessed world.

Today we're going even deeper.

Today we're going deeper because our issues with body image and our relationship to food are like big juicy onions. Once you start peeling back the layers, you start to notice there is usually something at the core of these issues, something we try to keep hidden away below the surface, distracting ourselves with calorie counts, miles measured in apps on our phones, trying to control, tweak and change our bodies, and speaking negatively about our outside image instead of looking inward. 

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Body Image Series: My Rock Bottom Moment and the Tools that Helped me Climb Out

I want to paint a little picture for you. It was right after Christmas, and although I would happily leave my decorations and my Christmas Tree up until September, I quickly had to take it down because Carlos's birthday (which is on January 14th) was coming up, and with that, his birthday party. Since I go overboard on Christmas and I have a tree that is suitable for a house twice this size, it occupies way too much space that needs to be cleared for all the party people. There I was, taking all the ornaments down, wrapping the fragile ones in newspaper, untangling lights, ornament glitter all over the place and boxes everywhere. My wooden dining room table covered in ornaments and decorations. My headphones are on, and a podcast episode is coming through. I  listened, having to sit down once or twice. A couple of tears falling down my cheek, Carlos unaware that any of this was happening, sitting at his computer working away in the other room. Those little tears that were part sadness, part anger, part desperation, with a very tiny but present feeling of relief. It was too minuscule to notice everything was going to be ok, but present enough to give me a glimpse of hope. All I could think at that moment was to take the phone out of my pocket, and take this picture.

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Before a New Year Begins...

You know me and my love of milestones. birthdays, the beginning of a season, the start of a new year or a new chapter in my life. There's just something magical about new beginnings and it's a powerful moment to make promises to ourselves. In no other moment of the year is this truer than New Year's Eve. I always ask people this time of year if they make any resolutions and almost everyone has some kind of tradition of setting their gaze on a future goal, promising to do something they have yet to do, promising to leave stress behind a bit and focus more on the good stuff of life. I get it, I'm one of those people. I do this the night before a birthday, the night before a new year, when I'm sitting on a plane coming back home from a trip. It's so nice to sit with oneself and take stock of what really matters and what we'd like to change.

One of those years something very special happened, I promised myself I would look into that whole "vegan thing", boy was that a good idea and not in a million years could I have guessed where it brought me! It's been many years since that day and now I get to hear the stories of so many people who confide in me and look for support on their journey. You have no idea how much I think of those little conversations you and I have as true treasures. I would have also never thought that Carlos would join me on that journey, nor that we would have this place where we all get to hang out together. 

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Vegan Teens Series Part 2: "I'm a Vegan Teen in a Non-Vegan Family"

It's finally time for part 2 of our vegan teens series! In part 1 we talked about what can happen when parents decide to go vegan and they have a resistant teenager at home that may not want to start eating this way. I gave you tons of tips for keeping the peace at home, inspiring without relying on the outcome, how to ensure that no matter what you do or your teenager decides to do, that the number one priority is to infuse a sense of "normal" and balance to food and the act of eating. Today though, the parents are not my audience. This post is specifically for you my dear teen! If you then decide to show mom and dad this article in the hopes that they understand what you're going through if they've been resistant, feel welcome to, but this post and podcast episode is for you.

Let me start this off by saying that although I'm in my mid-thirties as I write this, I work with teenagers and I remember being a teenager extremely well. I can say without a doubt, that due to my life circumstances and the fact that very often I was the odd one out (you can read more about my personal story with food here, and my "always feeling like an outsider" story here), my teens were the hardest years of my life (with their amazingly cool moments too!). I know you hear people giving you the speech of how things get more complicated after you become an adult and have responsibilities, work and the like, but let me tell you this: that was NOT my experience.

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