WIAW: 1 Week

1 week til I’m free (sorta) from classes. 1 week til I’m back home for the summer. 1 week til I can really relax. And 7 more days of stress, projects, to-do lists, papers and cleaning. Welcome to finals time!

Enough complaining, though, let’s get to this week’s WIAW. I haven’t posted a full day of eats in quite awhile but I managed to get pictures of all the food I ate on Monday for once!

Breakfast: chai carrot cake inspired smoothie in a bowl. Topped with cashew butter, raisins and crumbled grain free sweet potato coconut muffin.

Breakfast: chai carrot cake inspired smoothie in a bowl. Topped with cashew butter, raisins and crumbled grain free sweet potato coconut muffin.

My latest breakfast favorite is the smoothie in a bowl. It’s finally been warm enough to enjoy these regularly and since I stocked up on xanthan gum awhile back, I can finally make them thick and ice cream like. This version was made with vanilla chai Vega protein powder, almond milk, a dried fig, chopped carrots and cinnamon, plus an ice cube for a cold factor. I could eat this daily!

Lunch: spinach salad with leftover falafel+hummus & kimchi and olives; dried bananas and orange dark chocolate.

Lunch: spinach salad with leftover falafel+hummus & kimchi and olives; dried bananas and orange dark chocolate.

I basically scarfed this salad down between classes since I’ve been busy editing a video for a final project and eating isn’t allowed in the editing lab. However, I did sneakily eat the dried bananas (not like banana chips–these are soft and chewy and just made of bananas and lemon juice) and the chocolate. The salad was a bit too smelly (thanks to the kimchi) to eat inconspicuously.

Snack: an almost-raw snackplate with fresh pineapple+strawberries, part of a raw brownie bar, fig with cashew butter, Thai curry cashews, chipotle kale chips and PB2 dip.

Snack: an almost-raw snackplate with fresh pineapple+strawberries, part of a raw brownie bar, fig with cashew butter, Thai curry cashews, chipotle kale chips and PB2 dip.

I’ve been indecisive lately (when am I not?) so snackplates have been staples. I’ve been having some off days a lot lately in regards to hunger, so I ended up putting back some of the kale chips and cashews, and I wasn’t feeling the PB2. I bought it when I ran out of peanut flour, and it’s way too salty for me. I’d rather have peanut flour so I can add my own salt or stevia, and it’s got more protein anyway and is cheaper. Luckily my iHerb order came just in time and now I’m restocked.

Dinner: vegan tamale, unpictured watermelon and chipotle kale chips.

Dinner: vegan tamale, unpictured watermelon and chipotle kale chips.

I celebrated Cinco de Mayo a day late with this tamale that was on sale over the weekend at Whole Foods. I gotta say, I’ve never had a tamale before and this vegan bean-and-corn filled version was bomb! I could have gone for less corn, but it was really good and I’m glad I’ve got a second one to eat some other time this week.

Dessert: peanut flour paste, unsweetened applesauce, coconut butter stuffed date, part of a raw brownie bar, Alter Eco dark mint chocolate, half of a vegan everything cookie.

Dessert: peanut flour paste, unsweetened applesauce, coconut butter stuffed date, part of a raw brownie bar, Alter Eco dark mint chocolate, half of a vegan everything cookie.

I haven’t had one of Whole Foods’ cookies in months…but my dad offered to get me one over the weekend and I couldn’t say no. But full disclosure: I was scared to eat it. I very rarely eat wheat as I generally feel better without it, and this cookie is made with whole wheat flour. However, it’s pretty darn clean for a cookie, so I split it in half and enjoyed it over two nights without any problems. I know I’ve said before that I like eating clean and I don’t see that changing, but I want to get back to being able to enjoy indulgences like these every once in awhile.

An awkward selfie on a bad body image day.

An awkward selfie on a bad body image day.

And I’d be lying if I said I’ve been completely okay in my body lately. It seems to be a combination of seeing so many ab pictures on Instagram and just feeling insecure in my own body, but I’ve been feeling kinda crappy. Full disclosure: I don’t like body selfies like this but I feel like I needed to post one just to vent my frustrations. I feel uncomfortable in my spring and summer clothes after wearing pants all winter, and I feel like I’m gaining weight and it freaks me out. Honestly, I would love to have more definition in my abs, but I don’t believe it’s all about clean eating and working out–if that were true, I’d probably have more visible abs. As it is, I know that I do have something under there as I can flex and feel the hardness of my stomach, but it still bugs me that my abs don’t show. BTW, this picture was taken almost immediately after dinner, but I don’t have much more definition in the morning either. And I can’t tell you how much I hate seeing my thighs right now, especially in little shorts. This may be a topic for another post, but Instagram has basically become a place for comparison for me, and it’s definitely not positive comparison. I’m not sure if anyone else has felt the same way about Insta, and I’m not trying to make it seem like a bad thing (it certainly doesn’t have to be) but it seems to me that there are so many ‘ripped’ and ‘defined’ people on there that make it seem like they’re totally healthy but in reality they’re likely overexercising and underfueling. Just another reason for me to try to stay away for awhile.

I’m hoping that once the next week is over and I move back home that my appetite will return to normal and I can see myself in a more realistic light!

What have your breakfasts been looking like lately? How do you deal with changes in hunger?

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28 thoughts on “WIAW: 1 Week

  1. Aww, girl, I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having issues with body image. I wish I knew the secret to banishing bad body image, but unfortunately I don’t. This is something I struggle with as well. I do think it’s a good thing that you realize that some of your bad thoughts might be coming from Instagram. Maybe you could try staying away from it for a week or two and see if things improve? Many of the photos on there are totally unrealistic, and as you said, many of those people are overtraining/underfueling. Would you really want to jeopardize your health (not to mention happiness) just to have a little more definition in your abs? In my opinion, it’s just not worth it. And besides, you look absolutely FABULOUS as you are!

    Good luck finishing up the semester!!!

  2. Oh Ashley,you are seriously so tiny and it makes me so sad to hear you’re having such bad body image issues. 😦
    I can relate a lot though,even though my sister and my mom keep telling me I’m super thin and they don’t notice the weight I’ve gained,I see and especially FEEL it so much! I mean,I know you cannot put on like 6kg without looking any different,but yeah… I today wore a leggins I had last worn last September or so,and at that time it fit very lose. Today it definitely DIDN’T,and it kind of made me feel uncomfortable to say the least…
    I am trying not to let it affect my eating and stuff,but you know yourself just how difficult that can be.
    Anyhoo,I think that instagram can influence your thoughts etc. in a bad way: I was following some anorexics and people who always posted pictures of their abs etc. and it triggered me SO much,honestly! The funny thing was that I didn’t really notice how bad I felt through it until my phone broke and I had to do without it and instagram for a week. After getting it back,however,I immediately unfollowed like 150 accounts because they had SUCH a bad influence on me,and I don’t regret it all to say the least.
    So please,girl,remember you are BEAUTIFUL no matter what; remember you are unique and your body is precious and that you should be thankful for it because it does so much for you. And really consider unfollowing some people on instagram or simply staying away from it for a while… At least until you feel better about everything.
    Okay?

    • It is SO hard, and while I wish no one would have to relate to my issues, it’s nice to know that I’m not alone and they can be conquered. I think it’s hardest when it comes to wearing clothes that we haven’t worn in months, we always remember how they used to fit and it’s uncomfortable when they fit differently!

  3. Good luck with your week and finals. And don’t worry, you look great! I know the summer can be a hard time for body image, I get it, too, but there isn’t much to worry about. Ugh, I already hated Instagram, and now I hate it even more. You’re going to be busy this week anyway, so maybe trying to take this week off from it would help a teeny bit. Good luck. You’re awesome, so you don’t have to worry at all.

  4. Good luck with finals, Ashley, I am sure you will do very well!! As for your self-image problems, I would advise that you STAY OFF of Instagram if it is triggering for you. Please do NOT feel as though you “need” to have perfectly defined abs or a totally ripped body–these things are NOT important and will not make you happier! It is completely unrealistic to think that, and I want you to know that you are absolutely not fat in ANY way, shape, or form. In fact, you still seem very tiny to me. I am not trying to be harsh or critical, but I hope you are eventually able to realize that life is about so much more than a “perfect” body or defined abs. As for your appetite issues, do you think they are linked to you feeling insecure about your body? Sometimes you can almost “trick” your mind into thinking that you aren’t hungry, just to avoid eating what you think is “too much food.” I do understand that stress about finals can also affect your appetite, though. That Whole Foods cookie looks delicious, and I am glad that you were at least able to eat it–even though you were reluctant to. People who have never struggled with disordered eating habits would probably think “What the heck?? It’s just a freaking cookie!! Just eat it!!” But I understand that it can be difficult to free yourself completely of rigid clean eating diet “rules.” Next time, I challenge you to eat the WHOLE cookie at one time:) Anyway, please remember that it is so important to take care of and properly fuel your body–if you don’t, both your mental and physical health will suffer. I am always willing to help you in any way I can–at least, as much as I can via the internet. Eat enough, get plenty of sleep, and don’t stress out too much about finals; they will be over soon! I wish you the best of luck with everything.

    • I didn’t really consider that my lack of hunger might be related to my body image issues but now that you mention it, I think that is definitely part of it! I think it just becomes a vicious cycle of not being hungry one day, feeling guilt over still eating, feeling bad about my body, etc. But I think focusing less on the rules I’ve imposed on myself will really help me escape this cycle.

  5. Have you tried chocolate pb2? Same calories but I think the taste is WAY better than regular pb2. And you are absolutely beautiful and you shouldnt hate any part of your body. I TOTALLY know what you mean about instagram and have been feeling kinda shitty about myself lately too because of all the stupid ab pictures posted there. It’s hard not to compare, but I think it’s necessary to accept your body & not get stuck in the comparison trap. (Trust me, easier said that done, I know.)

    • I haven’t, but the chocolate sounds perfect for me! Honestly, I’ve been trying to disconnect myself from Instagram and just reminding myself that I can only see part of the picture and there may be other stuff going on behind the scenes that’s allowing these people to have the perfect abs.

  6. Insta-detox!
    And then when you get back on, do some “clean up” on who you follow.
    Also remember to never compare your behind the scenes footage to somebody else’s high light reel.

    I am sure your little selfie has garnered a lot of wistful eyes, as well, gorgeous. Mine included.

  7. I honestly think that your awareness about your “bad body-image day” says a TON about how far you’ve come. You’re beginning to recognize that it’s not healthy and that you deserve to give yourself SO much more credit than that. A year ago, those thoughts would have been “normal” and you would have felt like they were justified. So don’t get down on yourself at all.
    Gaining weight is scary- I completely understand- but don’t lose sight of your goals. You’ve come SUCH a long way and you’re only going to continue looking and feeling better. Some days are easier than others but keep reminding yourself that your size doesn’t define you. You deserve to go out, have fun, and not obsess over food and exercise. You deserve freedom from the thoughts that have burdened you for so long. You deserve happiness.
    Stay strong girly and, if you ever need anything, I’m here!

    • I am so glad you pointed it out, because I haven’t given myself enough credit for recognizing that I’m struggling! I know in the past I would have thought it was normal but I know now that it’s not, and now it’s a matter of choosing to do something about it. And really, I do want happiness and a life rather than a ‘perfect’ body. I’ve actually felt a lot more comfortable in my body when I’m not obsessing over it and when I’m just living my life, so I just need to get back to that point!

      • I’m so happy to hear you say that. It’s true!
        I can honestly say that I’m happier with my body and a million times more confident now that I’ve gained weight. I’m at least 15 pounds heavier than I was at my lowest weight (probably more now!) and I’m happier than I have been in years. It’s such a weird thing because we’re tricked into believing that being skinny=being happy. That’s not the truth at all!
        Continue to push yourself and do things that are out of your comfort zone every single day. It’ll be hard at first but I promise you that it gets easier and, before you know it, you won’t be worrying about food or exercise at all. You’ll just be living. (:

  8. P says:

    Bad body image days, I can so relate! It’s almost like a yo-yo, in that one day I feel like I’m this lean muscle machine, and other days, I’m overly self-conscious about my thighs. But it’s important to remember these thoughts come and go. I try to really amp up the good body image thoughts on my “good” days. It sometimes helps to find one thing to compliment myself on each day.

  9. L says:

    I would advise talking with a therapist or counselor since it seems as though you have been dealing with these issues for a while now. You look severely underweight and you seem to be under eating as well. It is beyond appearance, what you are doing is hurting your body, probably causing your bones to become weak, damaging you internal organs, negatively impacting your heart and even your brain. Even if you feel healthy now, down the road in a few years you will feel these negative effects. No one wants that, but you can change now- you can eat more and gain weight and gain health. If you don’t think about how you will feel years from now when you have serious health concerns, osteoporosis, and heart problems… its really scary- all because you want your body to look smaller? NOT worth it, you know that! It is up to you, you have all the power to either continue down the road your on, and have horrible health effects later on, or change and let go of these food and body obsessions and actually live life to the fullest rather than worrying about the size of you thighs

    • Honestly, I do know deep down that these things could potentially be hurting my future health, but I just can’t seem to do anything about it, because I haven’t had the right guidance. I’ve seriously considered seeing a nutritionist again so I’d know exactly how much I need to eat to fuel myself properly and I wouldn’t have any excuses, but it’s been hard getting over the bad experiences I’ve had with them in the past. But it’s definitely something I want to do. And it’s always been hard for me to see myself as I really am, and I’ve really only been able to rely on what other people tell me, and even then I can’t always believe them. But I know I have some body dysmorphia issues.

  10. Awwr girl… I hate commenting on people’s appearances and diets, but it breaks my heart to see you beating yourself up when you’re so tiny and eating so little 😦 You deserve so much more than that. Instagram can be the devil when you’re struggling with body image, so I really recommend that you either stay away from it for a while or unfollow the people that you find triggering. An eating disorder completely warps our ability to see ourselves objectively, so what you see isn’t even close to being real. You should be able to enjoy indulgences whenever you want instead of planning them out once in a while, and you shouldn’t feel like you have to eat clean all the time either. Believe me when I say that I used to be the same.exact.way, and despite all my obsessions and efforts, my body ended up doing the complete opposite of what I wanted it to do. Sometimes we become absolutely convinced that we’re doing the right thing, when in reality we’re only harming ourselves…

    • I am definitely going to be taking a break from Instagram, or at least avoiding/unfollowing the people that have triggered me. Lately, it’s been doing more harm than good so it’s time for me to reevaluate.

      I’ve always loved your blog, and comments, because I know you’ve gone through the same issues and it’s so reassuring for me to know that all the changes you made to get healthy made you so much happier and healthier in the long run, even if they were hard to implement at first. So thank you for always being honest about the process!

  11. Amy says:

    Wow you are too small! I mean this in the nicest way- but please please gain weight! You look like a very young adolescent girl- and you are in college honey! You are beautiful but I assure you you would look amazing with weight! Like don’t be afraid of gaining! You eat like a bird! I’m really lean- I don’t formally work out- in fact I really don’t do much- but I’m young and I don’t eat clean all the time! I eat much much larger portions then you- so don’t be afraid- eat eat eat to your hearts desire fix this weird clean mentality and love you girl! Eat please for me? Love Amy

    • I know I’ve had issues with seeing my body as it really is, but I believe that at least part of the reason I look so small and young is because I am quite short–only 5’1–and I’ve always had a young-looking face. I know those aren’t excuses though, and it really helps to hear that other people can still maintain their great bodies without going to extreme measures!

  12. Rachel says:

    Oh this is so worrying! I’m so sorry you are having body troubles- but seriously you look very underweight- please maybe see someone about your feelings? It might help you get at what is behind them. It’s not worth living with all of these horrible restrictions and watching your body so much! Life is here to be lived and once it is over we will not remember or be remembered for our ab-definition! And if we are well we didn’t do enough with ourselves!!! I just hope you can move forward and eat up! Hope you feel better soon

    • I definitely agree that it would help me to talk to someone about how I’m feeling. I haven’t even really discussed these issues with my parents, as they believe that I’m recovered when I’ve really just been in recovery for the past 4 years and have still struggled during that time. So it would be such a relief to just get all this out there and figure out where it’s coming from!

  13. First off, you are amazing in your meals. They always look so healthy and delicious. Maybe you can start cooking for me 😉 Secondly, self-image is a tough subject and it’s up to each one of us to find confidence in ourselves. What you have to realize is that everyone is different and while we have these lovely tools such as Instagram and Pinterest to find fun recipes and ideas, they are also being used to wrongly promote the unattainable or unrealistic. It’s tough but I just try to realize that by eating healthy and clean foods and working out for my sanity and health, help me feel better. Find what works best for you rather than what works to match society’s idea of “normal.” That normal is not true and we are all unique in our own ways. Power on! You can do it 🙂

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