Growing Up

Awkward pre-interview face.

Awkward pre-interview face.

My life may be just a few weeks away from changing a lot. I had my first Skype interview late last week with a TV station in Tulsa, OK and then a phone interview with a weather app start-up company in the Bay Area the other day. I know I was complaining 2 months ago about how my job search was going nowhere but now I suddenly have interviews for two different jobs in just a few days. Crazy how life works sometimes!

I don’t want to talk too much about the jobs because nothing is close to finalized on either one yet but it got me thinking about how I’ve been growing up a lot lately. First, I graduated from college in December. I remember when college seemed so far away, let alone graduating college and going out into the real world.

The job search has been a whole other story. I’ve gone through times of excitement, finding jobs I’d hope I’d get. I went through frustration and disappointment when I didn’t hear back from any of the jobs I’d applied to. And now I’m kind of in a state of disbelief, as I consider that I could very well be moving to another state & another time zone very soon and starting my first job and really figuring out where to go with my life.

And then just other things in my life are changing, and helping me grow up. I’m apartment hunting, trying to figure out a budget for when I have a job, finding more confidence in myself, and maturing in my relationship with my parents & sister. I had some rough times last weekend, a few heart-to-hearts and I realized that my parents are still very worried about me with my thoughts towards food & my body. Remember my Fully Raw February challenge? That came to an end a little sooner than I’d thought due to getting sick and having my mom tell me that she thought I was being restrictive. I felt mostly really great eating raw but I realized I missed some things (namely peanut flour, lentils and sweet potatoes!) and having some digestive issues made me realize that I couldn’t sacrifice my health just to stick to a way of eating that I thought was ideal. I’m still eating somewhat raw, but being less restrictive and trying to figure out how to reincorporate foods I used to love while not feeling afraid of eating them. I made sweet potato+kale enchiladas with my dad the other night and I didn’t feel too guilty for eating corn tortillas or cooked food!

A [mostly] raw lunch that I felt good about eating.

A [mostly] raw lunch that I felt good about eating.

Things are changing over here, so there might be some changes coming to the blog too. I can’t promise any consistency in my posting, but I want to share updates a few times a week and keep up with my favorite blogs. I hope you’re all okay with that!

Any big changes going on in your life right now or soon?

Being Sick as a Trigger

Who likes being sick? Probably no one. It’s not the most fun way to spend a perfectly good day or three and it can feel so overwhelming. Though I’ve never been one to get sick that often, when I do, it reminds me not to take my good health for granted.

But there’s a darker side to getting sick that can manifest in someone who’s struggling or has struggled with an eating disorder or disordered eating. Being sick can act as a trigger, restarting disordered habits even if they’ve been absent for awhile.

What do I mean by this? Let’s look at a recent personal example. My sister was sick with a sore throat and other respiratory issues a week or so ago, and she ended up passing it onto me. The day I started feeling a little sick, I felt pretty wiped by the evening. I ended up skipping dinner and my nighttime snack in favor of plenty of water and some cold medicine. The problem with this? Later on that night, I was obviously starving–I hadn’t eaten since 3 or 4 that afternoon and my stomach hurt from hunger. But I ignored it because I figured, I was sick and my throat hurt a lot, so I wasn’t in the mood to eat.

So true. Being sick sucks.

So true. Being sick sucks.

The next day, I was even more out of it. I slept in a bit, then mostly hung out in my room for the rest of the morning and early afternoon. I also didn’t eat anything until around 4 in the afternoon…and then it was only some applesauce, watermelon and later some banana softserve. I didn’t feel hungry at all that day, and I was just focused on trying to make my sore throat feel better. However, the lack of food for most of the day made me feel tingly (like the pins-and-needles feeling) and even more out of it. Truth be told, if my mom hadn’t insisted on me eating something, I probably wouldn’t have. Not good, I know, but it’s hard for me to eat when I’m not hungry or feeling good. I also did not take a full rest day. I have a really hard time taking a full day off from exercise, and I had already planned on taking the next day off from exercise because I was going to be out of the house for most of the day (I ended up not taking a rest day the next day, because I was feeling a lot better and had more time to workout that I thought). So I ended up doing some yoga for half an hour, nothing strenuous, and it didn’t exactly make me feel better. The stretch felt good but doing it made me feel a little dizzy and tired. I know that exercise can improve sickness symptoms, but I think it would have been better for me to try to rest as much as possible. It’s just hard for me to rest–I always feel so lazy and unproductive.

It is kind of a big deal, especially when you're sick.

It is kind of a big deal, especially when you’re sick.

Being sick can be a slippery slope. You may be able to justify not eating or eating less when you’re under the weather, or working out through an illness, and then it becomes a trigger for further restrictive habits. I’ve experienced this even more when I had some stomach virus, and I could hardly make myself for a few days. I told myself it was because I didn’t want to make my stomach feel worse, but it ended up making it harder for me to return to normal eating. Same with working out. If you aren’t used to taking rest days regularly (which I’m guilty of), it can be hard to admit that you need to take a day or two off to let yourself recover. But exercising can make you feel worse, not better, sometimes, and in those cases it’s better if you take a break. It’s better to take a day off and feel better sooner than to exercise through it and end up prolonging your illness. Again, though, it can be hard not to let being sick start to control your habits again–you just have to be proactive and remember that taking care of yourself means continuing to eat while your sick and listening to your body. Even if you can’t eat your normal foods, it’s better to eat something than nothing. It’s something I’m still working on, but getting sick recently has made me realize that I still don’t have the healthiest mindset when it comes to getting sick.

Have you ever struggled with keeping up healthy habits while sick? 

I’m Done…

I’m done…with focusing on calories, rather than nutrients

Larabars might have a ‘lot’ of calories, but they’re healthy and simple!

I want to be a healthy vegan, so what does that mean? Getting enough fats and protein. Instead of seeking out the lowest calorie faux meat products (which do have protein, but aren’t that healthy), I want to buy nutrient-dense things that will fuel my body and help me feel my best, like Larabars and Sunshine Burgers (made from seeds, beans and veggies). I want to stop shying away from coconut products just because of their high saturated fat content. I’m done with being scared of plant-based fats, period.

I’m done…with having tiny portions of everything

Four mini pancakes are NOT enough for breakfast alone!

I know I will always likely have a smaller appetite than a lot of people but that doesn’t mean I have to eat like a hummingbird! I’m sick of eating small amounts at every meal and feeling hungry and unsatisfied an hour or two later. If I want to feel more comfortable with eating more, I can choose to snack more between my mini meals or even just increase the size of my meals a little bit over time. I’m tired of only having 1/4 cup of oats at breakfast (even with toppings it’s not enough) and only allowing myself a teaspoon of nut butter per day.

I’m done…with restricting my calories and my life

Why can’t I feel okay eating an entire (170 calorie) vegan chocolate chip cookie at one sitting and more than a tiny bowl of almond milk ice cream?

I’ve wasted way too much of my life semi-starving myself and listening to ED’s stupid demands. I want to be okay eating the calories I need to live a healthy life. I want to sometimes order something other than a salad at a restaurant. I want to cook vegan things that even my omni family will love, because it’s full of nutrients and flavor. I’m sick of freaking out every day that I exercise a little bit less than I wanted to. I’m done with constantly tallying up my calories and macro nutrients and over analyzing them.

I’m done…with second-guessing my cooking skills

My first attempt at a homemade vegan ice cream pie for Father’s Day…everyone loved it!

I hate worrying about cooking things for my family and wondering if they’ll even like it, just because it’s something they’re not used to. I want to do even more experimenting with cooking for myself. I want to make even more vegan desserts to show my family that vegan things can be just as tasty as normal desserts.

Vegan Ice Cream Pie (vegan)

8 sandwich cookies, any flavor (I used Whole Foods’ store brand, which are all-natural, but Oreos and Newman O’s are also vegan)

1/2 pint vegan ice cream, any flavor or variety like almond/coconut/soy (I used Almond Dream’s cappuccino swirl)

1 tbsp dark cocoa powder or cacao powder

1/2 tbsp agave or maple syrup

splash almond milk (or water)

fresh berries/bananas, shaved dark chocolate, vegan whipped cream, etc. for garnish

Separate the sandwich cookies and set aside the filling. Crumble cookies by hand or in a food processor until finely crushed. Mix in filling until mostly combined and starting to stick together. Press cookie crust into bottom of medium-sized glass bowl or cake pan and freeze for at least 30 minutes. Let ice cream soften and spread 1/4 of a pint over the crust, smoothing down with a rubber spatula or flat wooden spoon. Place in freezer for 30-60 minutes, or until ice cream layer is hardened. In a small bowl, stir together cocoa powder and agave until mostly mixed, and add in a splash of almond milk or water until it becomes a thick fudge-like paste. Spoon over ice cream layer and place in freezer for another 30 minutes. Let ice cream soften again and spread the remaining 1/4 pint over the fudge layer and freeze entire pie for 1-3 hours. Serve topped with berries, shaved/melted chocolate or whatever toppings you’d like. Makes 4 slices. 

What are you “done with”? How do you feel about cooking for others?

The Right One For You

Hi girlies! I hope you’re all enjoying your weekends so far. Mine is being spent at home with my family so you can guess it’s basically wonderful. My family is like my best friend, not gonna lie!

Anyways, today I really wanted to discuss a topic that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.

It’s about diets. And no, I  don’t mean dieting as in losing weight. I mean a style or way of eating.

Healthy diets should all include veggies!

I’ve noticed a lot of people in the blog world experimenting with the “Paleo” lifestyle, which is basically all about lean meats, veggies and fruits. It sounds pretty healthy but my beef with it (haha get it?) is that a lot of people who follow it act like it’s the best way of eating. And honestly, that bugs me.  Because I think every person is different, and different ways of eating work for them. I don’t believe there’s a “one size fits all” diet out there.

Haha, this cracks me up!

So I see people eating Paleo and then I feel guilty. Not gonna lie, it makes me feel bad for eating grains. I don’t even eat that many, aside from oats and cereal and Ezekiel bread, but with the whole low-carb craze and Paleo, it makes me feel like grains are the devil and will make me fat.

I call BS though. Grains, as long as they’re as natural as possible, don’t make me feel like crap and they never have. In fact, I seem to thrive on a roughly 60-20-20 diet, which means slightly higher carbs, which also come from fruits and veggies (especially fruit, I am a fruit-a-holic basically). I realize it’s different for different people, and some people don’t do so well eating grains. But for me, I feel it would be restrictive and unnecessary to cut out my beloved oats and quinoa just to follow the “cool” diet. And honestly, I don’t believe all the hype that grains of any kind are “fattening” or “bad”. Yes, refined grains aren’t the best but sprouted or whole ones are really healthy, full of fiber and protein and just taste good.

I personally think whole grains rock!

Same with my almost-veganism. Personally I feel so good eating beans, veggies, tempeh and tofu, fruits, nuts, grains and a little organic dairy on occasion but that doesn’t mean I’m going to attack meat eaters or claim that veganism is for everyone. If dairy and meat work for you, more power to you! If they don’t, I can completely relate and I think vegetarianism and veganism are healthy ways to eat.

This is why I'm almost vegan!

Basically what I’m saying is, eat what works for you. Feel good  about it and don’t feel like you have to conform to what everyone else is doing. And if you’ve found a way that works for you, awesome! Just don’t act like it’s the be-all-end-all diet, because that can make people feel guilty. And enjoy what you’re eating, because if you don’t like it, what’s the point?

What is your opinion on the “diet wars”? Have you ever eaten a certain way just to fit in?

2011 in Review

Hi guys, can you believe that there is just one day left in 2011? Time really flies, doesn’t it, especially at the end of the year!

I decided to do a recap of my year since I started this blog just a little over seven months ago. So much has happened since then, so I thought I’d give a little breakdown of the most memorable parts of each month, along with a couple of my favorite photos from that month.

May

One of my first overnight oats creations--carrot cake oats.

I first started AlmostVegGirlie on May 24, just a couple of weeks after I finished my freshman year of college. I have had a couple of blogs before (and still have a fashion-focused one on Blogger) but never a food-related one, and since I was really starting to get into cooking a lot, I decided to finally start one after discovering the healthy living blogging community. Besides starting my blog, I also celebrated my mom’s birthday (and Mother’s Day the week before) and went to a U2 concert up in Denver!

Celebrating my madre's birthday.

Post of the Month: My First WIAW

June

Enjoying the fun after the Elephant Rock bike ride.

I biked in my first real biking event (with my dad). It was only seven miles, but it really helped me discover my love for biking and inspired me to compete in future events. One of the best parts (besides the ride itself) was all the free samples tents set up after the ride.  Not gonna lie, that was super awesome 😉 I also started my volunteer job at the local library that continued all summer.

First trip to Pinkberry!

Post of the Month: Bad “Raw”mance

July

In Estes Park with my mom and sister.

July was a great month for me! I started it out with a family trip to Estes Park which was so much fun and a great little getaway for the fourth of July weekend.The excitement continued with my first trip to the Whole Foods hot/cold bar and my 19th birthday on the 27th. I loved being one of the first people in Colorado’s first IKEA store, plus it was nice to get a gift card for going there on my birthday!

I want to go back and have this all over again!

Post of the Month: Foodie Newbie

August

Sweaty bike ride=the best!

The month started out with a lot of active things, from bike rides to playing tennis to hiking in the mountains. I went on a couple of shopping trips before school started again towards the end of the month. I moved into a single dorm room and loved having even more independence.

Gelato is basically my favorite food!

Post of the Month: What I’ve Been Up To This Weekend (first ever vlog!)

September

First ever (almost empty) almond butter from Target.

Labor Day weekend was a whirlwind of activities, from going to see a production of a play my dad wrote to a day trip to Breckenridge (which was filled with tons of good food). School was…school. I discovered a few new foods, like deep chocolate Vitatops, Halo bars and of course, many new oats combos.

Me and my sissy in Breck.

Post of the Month: A Pain in the…Foot?

October

Carving pumpkins!

I like to call this the month that I rediscovered my creativity in the kitchen. I think I cooked more new things this month than I did all summer! I spent a couple of weekends at home, which helped fuel my passion. I made quite a lot of pumpkin-related things, but what can you expect for October? I also went to urgent care to check out the pain in my foot that started in September and found out I have plantar fasciitis. Oh, and I officially started my first-ever real job as the news managing and PR editor of my college’s staff newsletter! I love what I do (and I love the fact that I get paid to do it!)

First salted caramel mocha light Frap from the 'bucks...basically delish.

Post of the Month: My Story (parts 1 and 2)

November

Vegan festive garland bars.

Thanksgiving break was also a great time for me to get creative in the kitchen. I also stayed pretty busy outside the kitchen during break, with a big shopping trip to 16th Street Mall. I also had my first-ever vegan Thanksgiving meal.

I was excited for my first iHerb order!

Post of the Month: Simply Having a Wonderful Weekend Time

December

I promise you I'm actually really more excited about my new cookbook than I look like I am.

The stress of finals, projects and packing really got to me this year, but before I knew it, I was home! This month, I’ve enjoyed seeing lots of snow (even some on Christmas), playing games with my family, trying out new recipes, sledding, shopping and so much more.

One of my first raw dessert recipes–mini raw pecan pies.

Post of the Month: Jumping on the Bandwagon

It’s definitely been a very good year for me. Despite my struggles in school and with my eating disorder, I would have to say that I had more ups than downs. If you had told me at the beginning of 2011 that I’d be riding in a real bike event, go mostly vegan, get my first job, try something called ‘peanut flour’ (total life-changer, BTW), injure my foot and make raw desserts, I would have told you no way. But life’s funny that way–the things we least suspect always seem to happen. So here’s to 2012…whatever it may bring!

What were some highlights of your year? What are you most looking forward to in 2012?

My Story: Part 2

In part 1, I left off with my first day in recovery from anorexia. Part 2 is my recovery journey up til today!

 

From March until mid-May, my parents were pretty much the only ones in charge of my eating. I had a few checkup appointments to make sure my weight wasn’t slipping drastically. Those first couple of months were so hard for me, physically and emotionally. For the first several weeks, I was uncomfortably full after every meal and snack. I had never had to eat portions that large, especially not during the depths of my ED. I don’t know the exact number of calories I was eating during my early recovery, but it was a far cry from the maybe 500-600 I had had a month or two prior. My parents were pretty good at enforcing the eating rules–if I refused to eat something at dinner, they would sit there with me until I ate a sufficient amount. They didn’t push me way too far out of my comfort zone by making me eat really high-calorie things; they tried to work with me to find things I’d like, but they couldn’t be clearly disordered choices, and I had to eat enough of them to meet my needs. However, I can remember several times that I sneakily slipped some food into the trash when they weren’t looking–and they never noticed. I actually did this quite a lot over the first several months of my recovery, and I regret that I did that, but it happened. I was still struggling a lot with the disordered thoughts, and still occasionally had outbursts concerning my food and my body.

Summer 2009. Working on recovery.

A week or so before school got out in May, I started seeing a dietician. I really hated her from the very beginning, and looking back, she didn’t help me very much. See, I knew a lot about nutrition, I had just taken it to the extreme–I didn’t need someone who was mostly specialized in helping people with diabetes telling me that I needed to get in a certain number of servings of grains or whatever. She just basically gave me the same rough meal plan every time I saw her, and she got super-pissed when I dropped a few pounds a couple of times. That just made me feel like crap, because I was honestly trying to eat more–it’s just that when you’ve been eating so little and suddenly you start eating a lot more, your metabolism speeds up like crazy and you can lose weight even when you’re eating a lot. At the end of the summer, I stopped seeing her for good.

In June, I was scheduled to go on a mission trip with my church’s other high schoolers to San Francisco. I was so excited, but my mom said if I didn’t keep my weight up, I couldn’t go. That really made me push harder and resolve to eat more. I ended up being able to go, and I can honestly say it was an amazing experience. Okay, so I was still only making “safe” food choices and I know I probably did not eat enough on the trip because I didn’t feel comfortable with a lot of the food, but I didn’t use the trip as an excuse to purposely restrict and try to lose weight, and I’m proud of myself for that. Working with impoverished people in the Bay Area (specifically little kids) taught me that others have it so much worse than I do, and I should be thankful for what I have.

Golden Gate Bridge!

This awesome huge cross we saw on a hike (San Fran was very cloudy when we went).

Right after I got back from the mission trip, my family flew out to Wisconsin to visit my grandparents, and then soon after that we had our yearly trip to Estes Park and then I went to yearbook camp. So it was a crazy busy summer! My eating was pretty good in Estes Park–I was surprisingly mostly okay with eating out for dinner every night–and also at yearbook camp, since I was just there for the day and had most of my meals at home. Wisconsin was, well, a different story, kind of. My dad’s side of my family are all really big into red meat and stuff, and even though I wasn’t veg at the time, I still hated red meat and any milk that isn’t skim and that was a lot of what we had there. We ended up going to the store and getting a bunch of stuff I like, but I still felt like my choices were being judged by everyone. Luckily, when we stayed with my mom’s parents, they were way more understanding of my healthy food preferences, because my grandpa has had heart problems and now eats really healthy. It was a fun trip, but exhausting for my ED.

At the pool in Estes Park.

 My senior year started, and I also started seeing a therapist. The first few sessions, I didn’t talk much, and I almost always ended the session in tears. But as the months went on, I opened up more and tried to share my feelings and struggles. I also made a lot of strides with my eating. I had a “partial” every other day, which basically meant no class, so every other day after my 3rd period class, I’d drive home for lunch and the rest of the day. I could have used that as an opportunity to restrict, because no one was at home, but I didn’t. I kept eating a substantial amount. I’m not quite sure where my weight was at that time, but I’m thinking it was around my original 85 pounds. I was fairly comfortable at that weight…but my “goal weight”, as determined by my therapist, was 90 pounds. That was (and still is, somewhat) such a scary weight for me, because I had literally NEVER been over 85 pounds. But I’m a naturally petite girl, so I think the 90 pound goal weight was taking that into account. And really, it’s only 5 pounds over my original weight, but the number was so scary to me. Okay, I know that 90 pounds is technically underweight for my height, but that was the weight my doctor and therapist suggested. Maybe it was meant as just a starting point, but unfortunately, I have held tight to that number throughout my recovery.

My favorite senior picture 😀

 

September 2009. Getting ready for talent show my high school put on every year. My senior year, I was in 5 acts!

 

Also, I had NEVER gotten my period…ever! Not even before my anorexia. I think it has to do somewhat with being a late bloomer, and then when my intake was restricted, I had no chance to start my period. So my therapist started pushing my parents into making me take birth control to jump-start my periods, and build up my bone strength. I was so dead set against this, basically because I was terrified of the weight gain I’ve heard goes along with taking it. So I didn’t start taking it until January 2010.

Everything was going pretty well–until Thanksgiving of 2009. My grandpa on my dad’s side came to visit, and he brought along his “girlfriend”. This already made us kinda uncomfortable, because his wife (my grandma) had passed away in 2007, and we all still really missed her. She was such a beautiful, compassionate, intelligent woman and no one could ever replace her in our hearts. But he brought this new woman just the same, and we tried to make the best of it. However, little did we know that she, um, likes to speak her mind…particularly when it comes to eating and bodies. Two of the things I was most uncomfortable about. She made several comments regarding people’s sizes and then one night after we had a nice dinner out, she said that we had all eaten so much and we should weigh ourselves to make sure we hadn’t gained. This comment really set me and my mom off. When we got home, I cried so hard and I was also screaming because I was so mad at her. My mom was also really mad but was trying to get me to calm down. But everyone had already heard everything, so they basically knew I had an eating disorder. I definitely did not want to tell them, especially her, but there was nothing I could do. The damage had been done. I felt even worse, because my dad was blaming me for upsetting them, but I think everyone was just upset and angry and confused.

Being crazy on New Years Eve.

 

Christmas and New Year’s came and went. I started taking birth control towards the end of January, at the prompting of my therapist and parents. At first, I wasn’t too thrilled to be taking it. I mean, I’d gone the full 17 and half years of my life without getting my period once! But once I got used to it, it wasn’t too bad. My periods were always on schedule, without too much pain or anything. They became routine and normal for the most part. When we went to Phoenix (my hometown!) for spring break, I unexpectedly got it (and for the next two weeks following!) but we assumed that was because I had attempted to skip it. I know that a lot of people disagree about using BC to jump-start periods, but I think it was a good thing for me, simply because I was so far behind in getting my period. If I hadn’t gone on it, I might have never gotten my period. I’m not sure if it helps with restoring bone density, but I plan on continuing to take it until I experience problems with it.

Spring break 2010. With my sissy by a hot tub.

 

My favorite picture I took on the trip. This makes me want to move back there.

 My senior year was winding down fast. Before I knew it, it was my senior luncheon. Around this time, I had started to restrict a little bit again. I thought it wasn’t noticeable, but apparently I dropped a little bit of weight and my parents started getting more strict about my eating again. It made me feel like I was a little kid again–here I was, a few months away from being a legal adult and going away to college, and my mom and dad were making sure I was eating plenty. I think it motivated me to keep going with my recovery–I didn’t want to be treated like a baby who had to constantly be monitored. I also stopped seeing my therapist around this time, because she wasn’t really helping me progress anymore. In fact, my parents thought she was giving up on helping me!

 

Class of 2010 baby!

 

Graduation came and went, and my summer started. It was fun, but mostly uneventful. We went to Estes Park as usual, and my mom and I drove up to the college I was going to go to in the fall for a freshman preview. Towards the end of the summer, I started getting pretty anxious. I was worried about what I’d be eating, how I’d get along with my roommate, how hard classes would be, etc. I knew it would be so so hard leaving home for the first time, but I was pretty ready for it.

Can you spot me (haha)?

A lot of my worries were for nothing, though, which was good. While I didn’t really like the dining hall food, I’d found other options–sushi and frozen vegan burritos from a mini convenience-type store in the dining hall near me and getting groceries to prepare in my room every time I’d go home for the weekend. I still got to see my parents every other weekend when I’d go home. I made a few friends in classes and in my hall. Classes weren’t ridiculously hard. But…I did not get along AT ALL with my roommate. At first, we’d go to the dining hall together, but over time, I realized what a toxic person she was. I wasn’t vegetarian at the time, so she acted like she was superior because she was. She would make fun of me for my healthy choices (despite being veg, she mostly ate junk food). She was constantly in the room, but she would rarely talk to me, she was always on her computer. She went to bed super-late (like 1 am) even though she had morning classes, but would sleep in til noon on weekends so I couldn’t turn on the lights or anything. She was just an overall anti-social person who had awful hygiene habits. I really began to dread going back to my room, because chances are, she was in there. My roommate experience really kind of soured my freshman year of college, but luckily I had my family and friends to support me. I went out to eat with one of my new friends a lot, and we really bonded, plus I became more comfortable eating out with people I didn’t know really well. So overall, my freshman year was pretty good.

Despite my roommate issues, I was still usually pretty happy.

However, sophomore year so far has been so much better! I’m now in a single suite, and loving it! I love having a bathroom I only have to share with two other girls, and having a room all to myself. I can do whatever I want in here–sing out loud, take a nap, workout and even dance to Lady Gaga 😉 I do have to deal with a floor of loud freshman, but it’s not as bad as last year at all. I wish I had a car so I could be more independent and not have to rely on my parents to buy me groceries, and I feel a little weird for being one of the few upperclassmen still in the dorms, but the dorm I’m in is so nice–it’s like a hotel.

Recovery-wise, I have struggled a little bit more than I did last year. Without constant supervision, I’ve found it all too easy to slip back a little into restriction. It’s nowhere near what it was during the height of my anorexia, but it still isn’t good. I still have a long list of fear foods, but I’m gradually expanding my “safe” foods list. I’ve found that going vegetarian/mostly vegan has helped me discover and love new foods I’d probably never try if I was still eating meat. But I’ve found that I’ve been relying a lot on the groceries my parents buy. There’s nothing wrong with that, because I’m eating way better than most college kids and I’m pretty well-stocked, but the fact that I’m sort of scared to eat dining hall food (besides the salad bar) isn’t good. I’m working on trying to eat there more so I can face my fears of all the “fattening” food there. I know they have healthier choices, I just have to take a leap and check them out.

Happy and health(ier) in 2011.

So that’s my story, in a (big) nutshell. I’m so appreciative of the comments you’ve all left, and while I wouldn’t wish an eating disorder on anyone, I’m glad so many of you can relate. It makes me feel less weird 😉