Change

Sometimes when I am out and about and daydreaming, I write blog posts on whatever I can get my hands on. Remember my Strong is the new skinny post? I wrote it on random paper on the plane to visit my dad and saved it for a few weeks before posting it. This is just proof that my blog is really my diary and that you should feel privileged to get so into my head. Ha – ha.

Just joking, but in all seriousness, I’ve been writing a bunch of these notes to myself/future blog posts/random musings lately and thinking that they’d make decent blog posts if I could clean them up a bit and if I had a reason for writing them.

It’s funny when that reason smacks you in the face.

Like this quote of the day, which I read before I even got out of bed today.

Not a bad way to start the day, huh?

Anyways, it relates back to one of those notes I wrote where I started thinking about how much I’ve changed in the last year, two years, four years, etc. and about how I’ve really come into my own power and am starting to feel increasingly confident about who I want to be and where I want to go. It is funny that my eating disorder was the wakeup call I needed to make me realize that I’ve been holding myself back.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: eating disorders make your world small. When you let ED bring you down, you can’t fly. It’s really hard to figure out what it is that’s missing, but when you do, things start to click. Until I realized that I was convinced I deserved to be miserable/didn’t deserve to be happy, I was stuck. Sure I was “in recovery” but I wasn’t there. If I didn’t deserve all the good in the world, do you think I thought I deserved recovery?

So after telling myself over and over again (I’ve got reminders posted around my apartment, I’ve got popups on my phone, I’ve got events scheduled on my google calendar): “You deserve all the good in the world,” I am starting to actually believe it. And I’m noticing where else I might be holding myself back:

  • school – going back vs. not going back
  • career – writing, fitness
  • relationships – friends, family, boys
  • training/eating/body
It’s taken a lot of looking in and being really brutally honest with myself to see how I’m bringing myself down and then the next step of it all has been to ask why. Am I scared of making really strong friendships because I think people are going to hurt me? Am I scared of being a really successful writer because I think “how dare you?” While I do think it’s important to do all this, I’ve started to just focus on where I want to go and who I want to be instead and to move towards that, which feels really goal. When I was stuck in my delusional eating disordered ways I would set these huge goals and give myself direction, albeit misguided. For a while, I wasn’t sure if setting goals was healthy for me or not, but now I’ve realized: that same drive and determination that I used to use to fuel my ED can fuel ME on the path to being great.

The other day I was looking for something in my old workout books and I came across a dog-eared page in Jackie Warner’s book where she wrote about goals and discovering what you really want and about visualization. She said, “Voice your goals and passions with as many people as possible. The more you talk about them, the more you imprint and program them into your subconscious mind. Talking the talk will lead to walking the walk.”

So that’s what I’m doing. But what am I saying and who do I want to be?

  • I want to be healthy, fit, and strong. I don’t want to be skinny, I don’t want a six pack at all costs, and I don’t want to be obsessive. But I do love fitness and I am allowed to like my body when it looks fit.
  • I want to eat real food and I want to eat food that makes me feel good without apologies or worrying about what people will say. Like I’ve mentioned before, eating disorder recovery means opening up to fear foods, eating them and seeing that your life goes on, etc. etc. But I’m talking here about finding what makes you feel the best–and that might mean leaving out some foods not because they’re “scary” or because you think they’re going to ruin you, but because they’re not working for you and your body. What I have noticed is this: I feel best on whole, real foods. Imagine that. I feel worse when I eat certain things because I feel like I should (i.e. have a bun with your dinner because if you don’t have starch you’re going back to your ED ways. Hello, still giving power to ED.) I’m in charge of my food choices and I will never forget all the recovery lessons I’ve learned–skipping a bun or choosing not to eat certain foods doesn’t mean ED is back, it means I’m ready to eat for me again!
  • I want to find a career that calls to me and go after it whole heartedly. Right now, I don’t entirely know what that looks like. One thing I do know is this — fitness and health and nutrition call to me. I might be on the right track with going back to school to be a dietitian, but I might be using this as a way to further delay things because I am scared. But fear isn’t a good reason for me to do/not do certain things and I’ll just admit it: for a long time, I thought I was too fat/inexperienced/young to start my career and thinking all of those thoughts also made me see myself as someone who could never really succeed in the fitness/health industry. But you know what? I’ve been thinking more and more about those presenters, leaders, movers/shakers in the fitness world and I think I could be a force. And I don’t think I need to change at all on the outside: I think it all has to do with continuing on this track to confident Cheryl and believing in myself and visualizing myself as that woman!
  • I want to do something unconventional with my life. I don’t know what it’s going to look like. Motivational speaker/adventure race coach/personal trainer/author/blogger/wellness coach/sports nutritionist/writer/athlete/? This is the fun part – I’m only going to be 23 with wide open possibilities once and rather than fear the unknown, I want to take it all as an adventure – that’s why we’re here!
  • I want to be me. I want to wear the weird clothes that I like, not the “cool” ones that everyone else wears. I want to be loud, random, spontaneous and awesome because that’s who I am.

This change, this movement in my life feels GOOD. Even though we resist change sometimes, it’s so important to be open to it. Whereas in the past I’ve been terrified of change, this time it’s different. I chalk it up to knowing I can take it on–that confidence thing again! I also think that a big difference here is that this is coming from my core and is about who I want to be, not how I want to look or present myself to the world. If there was a lot of resistance to these changes, I wouldn’t make them because I’m learning that I am in charge and know what I need and trusting that intuition. And I think that for me to make lasting change and a real shift, it’s got to be something I want with my whole heart and feel good about making. So often we think about change as something we have to force ourselves to do or as a struggle, but that ignores the fact that we are the ones in control.

That’s a news flash: it’s not ED, the media, your parents, your friends, or anyone else that you have to answer to when things are said and done. It’s you and what you think of yourself that matters. Trust yourself, listen to your intuition, and ask yourself who you want to be? Find changes that feel good and lean into those–don’t worry about the changes that make you feel bad (chances are they’re for someone else).

I don’t know a better way to end all of this than to share some of my favourite cheese on the topic of inspiration and of course, you might as well have a little background music to reflect to.


What do you guys think about what I said about change?
How do you see your ideal self?
Do you ever write blog posts on random papers/napkins/your phone for later?

TGIF on time

After last week’s failed Friday post that ended up being on Saturday, I’ve made sure I’ve been paying attention to things going on this week and making some bookmarks to get this Friday post fired off for you guys!

Did I mention I love Fridays? And life?

5 inspirations

1. 

2. 

3. 

4. 

5. 

4 things I am adding to my summer to do list

1. Healthy Living Summit – With Chelsea, Meg, and I hope Bee, maybe Courtney, and whoever the heck else wants to jump on this awesome train. Takers?!

2. Canyon to Coast Jasper to Banff 500 Cycle Tour – Click on the link! This is my grad gift and I am freaking excited. 106 days (but who’s counting?). The description is good — “This tour for serious cyclists features the incredible beauty and diversity of British Columbia’s interior and coast. On this 520k / 320 mile tour you will not only get to ride the entire Icefields Parkway from Jasper to Banff, but you will also get to see some of the hidden and less visited gems in the Canadian Rockies and ride all of the amazing climbs to stunning vistas. This tour is geared toward ambitious intermediate to serious road riders and features 5,300 metres or 17,500 feet of elevation gain.” but the picture of the bear is funny. So long as I’m faster than one other person on the trip, I’m going to be good.

3. Yoga Slackers Adventure Summer Camp – This one I’ve not signed up for and think I might be jam packing my August a bit too much but I want to do it so I thought I’d share! A girl can dream…of slack lining, doing yoga, and trail running like a kid for a week, can’t they?

4.

including but not limited to: biking anywhere and everywhere in Ontario, trail running our faces off, kayaking, jumping in the river, eating copious amounts of fro yo and ice cream, hanging out on Barney's patio, doing ropes courses, going rock climbing, going to as many concerts as possible, signing up for races galore, etc. etc. etc.

3 blog posts you should read

1. Angela’s “An Injury Update & Finding the Silver Lining” : “When things happen in our lives that take us off our planned course (and they will), it’s a great time to stop and think about what other doors have opened. It can take time to figure out, but that’s ok too. Do a bit more of what feels good to you each day, and a bit less of what doesn’t.”

I think she was speaking to me! Injury or not, it’s a good message! Look at the opportunities, not what you might have missed out on. An injury blows, yes indeedy! But my own injury taught me a lot, got me back in the pool, and I’m not going to lie and say I’m not SCARED of getting hurt again, but I do know that I am bigger than letting my ability to run or bike or do whatever determine my happiness or self worth. Yeah, it blows not being able to do what you want to do. But if I’d been down in the dumps for the last 3 months because of my hip, I think I’d have missed out on the best semester of my life. An injury doesn’t stop you from living your life or give you an excuse to be miserable—it took me a lot of tears and being miserable to realize that, but life is too freaking short! You could be in the best shape of your life and die tomorrow, and if you spent your whole life working out and controlling things in order to be that fit, what do you have to show for it?! Toned biceps in your casket? Yeah…I’m seizing the day!

2. 7 Essential Steps to Giving Up the Fight with Food and Your Body  at Body Love A- The steps are awesome but so are the questions she asks of you at the beginning. And she ends things with “Your thoughts are creating your reality,” which sounds kind of familiar to a little epiphany I had this week, doesn’t it?

3. Tina’s Motivational Musing: This Is What It’s All About  post – her message = “Don’t let life pass you by. Take care of your body so you can live life abundantly. View a healthy lifestyle as a blessing to help you get the most out of life, instead of an obligation or obsession that robs the life out of you.”

And that’s a good message worth checking out! Did I mention I love her blog?!

2 things that made me drool this week

1. boys

2. Leanne’s 20 Healthy Gluten-free Power Snacks post filled with tasty looking eats I really want to try! Gluten or no gluten, they look good. Yummmmm.

1 new blog I found/loved this week 

1. Medical Marzipan – Learning to Love Your Body One Day At A Time – check it out. “Medicinal Marzipan is a blog about learning to love yourself a little bit more every day – to the best of your abilities and without any regrets.”

Sounds like a good goal to me!

Happy weekend!

What’d you stumble on this week worth sharing?