How I Spent My Thanksgiving Break

The title totally sounds like a middle school English class essay you had to write after coming back from Thanksgiving break, doesn’t it? Haha guess I just love reliving my younger years 😉

My break isn’t quite over which I am very thankful for–the last three weeks in the semester are always the hardest because you just got a taste of freedom but then you have to go back and get ready for finals and write papers. Not fun. But this is how I’ve been spending the past few days, with a mix of the successes and struggles I’ve had along the way.


Still dealing with ‘disordered’ thoughts. 

Thanksgiving is a tough holiday for a recovering anorexic. And as a vegan, I’m not that thrilled by the usual selection of holiday foods. So I did struggle a bit on Thanksgiving Day. For one, I didn’t have breakfast. Yep, I wasn’t exactly planning on it (I love breakfast and never miss it!) but I wanted to have a pumpkin waffle with plenty of real maple syrup but my mom ended up using my waffle maker to make waffles for the rest of my family, and I freaked out about the ingredients she used in the waffles and decided not to make a waffle. But I didn’t end up making breakfast at all because I just got stuck in my disordered eating thought patterns and was getting anxious about Thanksgiving. I also didn’t eat lunch, because our family just does a lot of snacks in the afternoon. So I did enjoy some snackage (homemade guac I made myself, rice cake with pumpkin butter/chocolate chips, raw carrots and cauliflower, amazing spicy salsa). I also had a few adult beverages but we’ll save that for the successes part! I think I did an okay job eating once the big meal went around and I even tried some of the vegan stuffing my mom made. But I definitely struggled with feeling okay with being a little full. The feeling of fullness still scares me to death so that was hard to deal with. I also had some issues with exercising. I told myself I’d take a day or two off from working out this week but that hasn’t happened. It’s still too scary for me to take full-blown rest days.

The cute plate I had my snacks on.

Never being able to make a really delicious dessert from scratch.

Lately, I haven’t been able to make a dessert from a recipe that I actually like enough to eat. For some reason, I like it when I’m tasting it in the cooking process but then once it’s made, it doesn’t quite live up to my expectations. And then it goes in the trash. I can’t keep wasting food, but I can’t figure out why I can’t make an amazing dessert. I guess I should just stick with my simple, throw-it-together desserts like coconut milk ice cream or ‘banana bread’ protein bowls. Those are always satisfying.

A delicious lunch at my favorite restaurant. Falafel, tabbouleh, fresh red cabbage, lettuce and hummus.

Body image issues.

This kinda goes along with the first one, but lately I’ve been really having a hard time accepting what I see in the mirror. I always go through phases where I either like what I see or I’m totally disgusted by it, and right now I’m dealing with the latter. Anyone who’s ever dealt with this knows how much this sucks, but I’m hoping I start moving out of this phase soon.

Going back to classes after break.

Not gonna lie, I’m already burned out by school. The hardest time for me is always the three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, especially this year when I’m buried with a million assignments. I’m simultaneously freaking out and feeling passive about finishing up the semester.

These almost look like stars, don’t they?


Enjoying alcohol without worrying about the calories. 

I’m not quite 21 yet (just 8 months to go!) and I’ve never been one of those people who partied hard in college but lately I’ve been more interested in drinking, at least on special occasions. On Thanksgiving, I tried some cake vodka mixed with a little vanilla almond milk (to die for!) and I also had some green apple liqueur at dinner and I enjoyed them both. I did NOT get drunk or anything but it was nice to be able to sip my drinks and not freak out about drinking OMGsomanycalories.

This was soooooo good!

Getting a lot of assignments done.

I was kind of dreading Thanksgiving break, because I had a lot of schoolwork to do during it. But I’ve been splitting it into manageable chunks and working on a little each day and I’ve definitely been making progress.  I’m still stressing out about some of them, but I’ve got a few more days to finish them up.

I love fall sunsets.

Mixing in fun with the work.

My break hasn’t been all work and no play though. Yesterday we went up to Denver for the day for some window shopping, a cheap lunch at Garbanzo (they were offering a buy one get one deal all day) and checking out a cool German Christmas festival. We also played tourist with my grandparents and went to Garden of the Gods and Old Colorado City the other day. It’s kinda fun to explore the sites in your own city even if you’ve seen them a hundred times.

The weather was gorgeous and so were the views.

What have you been enjoying over the past few days? Do you like to be a tourist in your own city?

When Less Isn’t More

Hey ladies, happy Sunday! It’s pretty happy for me because it’s my spring break! I’ve already been pretty busy, and I’ve only been home for two days. I’ll share some of what I’ve been up to in a later post, but for today, I want to touch on a serious subject. It’s one that’s pretty hard for me to write about, but I think it needs to happen.

You may or may not have noticed that over the past couple of months, my WIAW posts have been kinda…lacking. I’ve actually recently gotten a few comments about it that really opened my eyes to the issue–thank you to those of you who commented, because I really appreciate the honesty and concern. But anyway, I want to say that while I don’t post everything I eat in a day, I know that I’m still not eating enough. And it’s not a good thing.

It all started at the beginning of this school year. Over the summer, I was eating a decent amount and maintaining my weight. Now, I’m a small girl and don’t have a huge appetite but if I had to guesstimate how much I was eating then, it would probably be around 1400 to 1500 calories. However, once I got back to school, I was on my own, had a whole dorm to myself and I decided to take advantage of the fact that I could ‘get away with’ eating less. Despite the fact that I’ve been recovering from anorexia for almost 3 years, I still have a lot of body image issues and at that time, I was determined to lose 5 pounds, to get back to my pre-ED weight. Of course, I knew (and know) that this isn’t healthy–the weight I was at was deemed healthy by my doctor, but it wasn’t in the medically healthy weight range. I know BMI is a load of sh*t, but I was technically underweight. However, I didn’t see myself this way (and still don’t) and was desperate to lose some weight. So I started cutting back, to about 1000 calories a day, which quickly became less and less as the months went on. During this time, I didn’t weigh myself so I honestly thought I wasn’t losing weight, but instead of doing the smart thing and eating more, I was scared to eat more so I continued to eat less and less…and work out more and more.

A delicious dinner--Amy's veggie burger, half a Sumo tangerine, hummus and guacamole--but is it enough? Probably not.

I wouldn’t say in any way that my exercising became extreme–besides walking from my dorm to classes (for 30-60 minutes, depending on the day) I would do cardio workouts in my room for 30-45 minutes per day. So nothing big…but the problem is, I never gave myself  a rest day. I was determined to burn at least 200 calories a day through working out, so I had to do something active every single day. I told myself I didn’t deserve a rest day because I barely worked out compared to some people. I have not completely rested for a whole day since at least October…not a good thing! Of course, I had some days where I just didn’t want to work out, because I was exhausted from being out all day or I had a headache but I pushed through anyway. While I like to be active in some way everyday, there were definitely some times where I should have just taken a break, because I know my body was screaming for one. But I didn’t listen.

The bigger issue is the food, though. When I came home for the weekend right before finals last semester, I hopped on the scale, curious to see what it would say. I had dropped 3 pounds from the last time I was weighed by my mom in mid-October. Now, definitely not a huge amount, but considering I already was underweight, it wasn’t good. Needless to say, I was ecstatic (or should I say, ED was) so I decided to continue my restrictive eating. Over Christmas break, I somehow got away with eating less and by the time my break ended, I weighed myself again and I had dropped another 1 or 2 pounds. By this point, I was hovering right around my ‘goal’ weight–so was I happy? Heck no! Just like in my worst days three years ago, I wanted to see an even smaller number on the scale. Never mind that my BMI was now 16–I needed to make it lower.

Second semester so far has been stressful, to say the least. My classes are all upper-level courses, which means they are pretty demanding. I have spent way more time studying and reading this semester than I have so far in my year and a half in college, so I think that’s caused me to eat even less. It’s scary, because I’ve become obsessed with the numbers–I track my calories religiously on a tracking app, and seeing the numbers just fuels the fire. At this point, I would actually love to eat more, but I feel stuck in this rut. It’s become routine for me, which isn’t good. Whenever I eat an extra handful of anything besides a fruit or veggie, I freak out. Obviously, all these signs point to something really bad.

A snackplate--homemade vegan Caesar kale chips (recipe to come), tablespoon peanut flour paste, handful Whole Foods kettle corn, dried fig, 1 square Chocolove orange peel dark chocolate, handful PB & chocolate Puffins. This looks like, and seems like, a decent-sized snack, but maybe I'm struggling with portion distortion.

So here’s where I ask for advice. I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow, and it’s the first time I’m meeting with this specific doctor, so she doesn’t really know my ED history, but I’m scared to death to see what the scale reads, because my mom will be there. I honestly don’t want her to make me go back to eating dairy and meat–it’s not because of veganism that I lost weight, but because I’ve been eating less. I know it’s possible to eat enough on a vegan diet, I just haven’t been doing it. And I want to eat more, but I just need the encouragement to do it. I feel like unless someone tells me that I really should eat more, that I can’t make myself do it because it’s become such a habit. I’m also scared that I’m going to have to gain the weight back, and I remember all too well how horrible that process was in the first place.

The thing is, I feel good eating the way I do now. Not the amount, of course, but I have opened my mind up to so many foods I used to fear, even just a few months ago. Now I’m okay with eating a square of dark chocolate every day, or other nuts besides almonds or higher calorie vegan things like tempeh and tofu. It’s just that I need to eat more of it. I’m just stuck on how to do that, and feel okay with doing that.

My first time trying a Chocolove bar--so good! I love the little bars because they're so cute, and the flavor combos all sound amazing. I'm glad I'm not scared of chocolate anymore.

Well, thanks for sticking with me through that monster of a post. I really hope it wasn’t triggering or anything, I tried to use as few specific numbers as possible while still being honest. I promise I’ll be back on Wednesday with a happier post, filled with tons of new foods I’ve tried and some recipes. For now, I just needed to get that out there, and be honest with y’all, since everyone is so supportive and since a lot of you have struggled with similar issues, I thought I’d reach out for a little advice.

I got my hair done (partial highlights and bangs) today and I love it! My hair is definitely one of my favorite features.

Have you ever struggled with not eating enough? What’s the most fun thing you’ve done this weekend?