My Pants Don't Fit (and Why I Don't Care!)

Thanks to a drop in temperature today I decided to opt for pants for a change. Jeans, my least favorite piece of clothing. I tried to squeeze into a pair I hadn't worn in a while and found I could barely get them all the way up my legs. Much to my delight my first thought was not one of disgust or disdain for my body. The forbidden F word never entered my mind. Oh no no, I have come so far from that place. Instead I thought "Whatever!"

Yes, my immediate unfiltered response was a big old WHATEVER. My second response was a huge smile across my face.

I'm not quite sure how or when the shift really began to manifest. I have been reading, writing, and reading some more over the last year in an effort to make the most of my recovery from ED and to plant myself firmly on the path toward radical self love and body acceptance. I started following plus-size bloggers and models, reading articles on body acceptance and fat shaming, and I started practicing mindfulness in all areas of my life. And let me tell you, it has all brought me to this very moment.

That one phrase has had a profound impact on my self image and self worth.

No longer do I set expectations on aesthetics. I am not interested in fitting into someone else's mold of what is beautiful or worthy. Instead I am more concerned with functionality. I focus on the action and the physical and mental feelings in those moments rather than how many calories I am burning or how my body looks. I am consciously aware of movements and my abilities. I also learned to listen to my body which is something that I never made a priority. I rest when it's needed and I push myself when I know I am capable of so much more. It's a balance I finally struck. I no longer take my body for granted.

I can honestly say my struggle with food is barely there these days as well. I learned so much from the Intuitive Eating Challenge. I eat when I am hungry, pay attention to satiety, and never deprive myself. I put into action what I learned from a nutrition course I took back in April and make sure I am eating a complete meal or healthy snack each time something goes into my mouth. But if I want to indulge I do it. If I want to go out to dinner or for drinks I do it. If I overeat so be it. No more guilt. That freedom is indescribable.

All of this letting go and lack of stress about weight, measurements, and looks has paid off. Not only am I mentally more sound, not only am I more confident, but I finally put in that last piece of the puzzle. After two long years and an excruciatingly painful road, my body has healed itself and amenorrhea is no longer a concern. I have finally put my ED experience to pasture.

I am thankful, never regretful, for the experience. I could have never gotten to where I am or who I am otherwise.

Today is huge for me. I feel like I quietly exited one door and walked blissfully toward another.


Technology and constant stimulation are a big part of most people's lives. I too am guilty. But as I get older I prefer more downtime. I prefer quietness. I value being alone. I would rather be outside in nature than bogged down by electronics. I like the simple things.

This morning I drove out to the gym only to quickly pull away and head to the park. Intuitively I felt drawn to being outdoors rather than being surrounded by strangers and equipment. I also decided to forgo strapping on my iPod and was glad I didn't have my GPS watch with me. This meant no distractions and no monitoring of time or distance. It was me and nature. It was without boundaries.

It felt incredible to be able to really marvel at the world around me, the trees, the flowers, the sound of birds chirping, the wind against my skin. So often these fade into the background and go by unnoticed and unappreciated. Today though these simple things were exponentially beautiful to me.

Admittedly I got lost in thought from time to time. Having no distractions affords a lot of time to think, to create and to connect. I was able to sift through ideas and situations without outside influence. I felt a bit more clarity afterward. I often felt a smile involuntarily spread across my face.

What I also enjoyed about my morning stroll was being able to feel a little more connected to the others who were walking in the park. Normally I would be running by and would give a brief smile and hello. But today I was able to offer a genuine smile, a more meaningful Hello, and in one case a very short interaction. I think we are so consumed with ourselves and what we are doing that we go through life with our heads down and eyes averted. I cannot explain how amazing and warm it feels to connect with a stranger even if it is for a brief moment.

And all of this happened by simply leaving the gadgets behind and going back to the basics. It's amazing what can happen and how you can feel when you slow down.

What Being Vegan Means to Me.

During my recent stay with my dad's side of the family my plant based lifestyle has become a common topic at the dinner table. Everyone is worried about what I can eat. Everyone is wondering if I still eat fish or can have cheese (goodness gracious with these questions!). At one point I even heard, "Oh you're so good about it. You're so dedicated." It was meant as though I was merely following a strict diet although I know no disrespect to my lifestyle was meant. And while I've been solid in my decision and my beliefs I started to think more about what it all meant to me over the last year.

Initially I adopted a vegan lifestyle after just shy of a year of vegetarianism. I was beginning recovery from anorexia and wanted to be sure I was healing my body in the most natural way. I went vegan for health reasons but shortly after I started reading more into the animal abuse side of things. My passion and my dedication grew, especially after watching the documentary Forks Over Knives. I have continued to educate myself over the last year and have done my best to compassionately share this knowledge with my carnivorous family and friends. I very much respect everyone's choices to eat as they do and do my best to not come off as one of those pushy preachy people. I simply want to share what I have learned so that we can all nurture our bodies and take care of the planet in the best possible way.

Recently though I've begun to see my plant based lifestyle in a more spiritual light. My decision to eat foods in their natural state makes me feel more connected to the world around me. Since childhood I have been such an advocate for environmental awareness and this seems like a natural extension of that. Eating a whole foods plant based diet, eating locally grown foods when possible, is one of the best things we can do not only for our bodies but also for the environment. For me I feel as though that is my way of giving back to Mother Earth.

It also brings about more consciousness in other areas as well. I have completely nixed consuming bottled water. I haven't used a paper plate in the longest time. I use reusable containers for nearly everything rather than snack bags and also use my own bags when grocery shopping. My spending habits have significantly decreased as I do my best to consume all that I have first before purchasing more. I am overall more aware of what comes in and what goes out. Following a plant based lifestyle has extended far beyond food. I feel like a better human being overall. And with this I feel more connected, more grounded, and more soulfully satisfied.

Following a plant based lifestyle is not about deprivation. It isn't about giving things up. It's about being aware. It's about nurturing. It's about exploring (I've tried more foods and flavors as a vegan than an omnivore). It's about giving back to the planet and to the animals who inhabit it. It's about kindness. It's about taking care of your body, your mind, and your spirit.

Won't you considering joining me?

For more information please visit:

Happy Herbivore
Forks Over Knives
VRG: Veganism in a Nutshell
The Vegan Voice