A Post About Recovery

                     “I just can’t imagine my life without my eating disorder.”

“I feel like I’ll never get out of this endless cycle.”

“I will never recover.”

– words I’ve said to my therapist, countless times.

I have never spoken so openly about my eating disorder before on social media, and actually kept it up (not actually sure if this will stay up or not).

Neither am I going to write this post in such a way that it sounds magical, poetic, or extravagant.

No, I’m going to be real with you. As if I were talking to someone (because, in a way, I am).

Yes, I had an eating disorder.

It developed several years back, almost 3 years to be exact, but it flared up and intensified about a year and a half ago.

But I’m not here to talk to you about my eating disorder, I’m here to talk about recovery. can I safely say I’m recovered? No, I really can’t. It’s difficult to define what recovery is.

Does recovery mean when you’re weight restored? Or does recovery mean when you love yourself no matter how you look like? Or, is recovery plainly and simply… Unachievable?

Let me get this straight. Recovery is hard. There is still not a day that goes by in which I don’t beat myself up over my 10+ kg weight gain since I began treatment. There is not a day that goes by in which I don’t worry about calorie intake and calorie outtake. Granted, some days are a lot milder than others, but overall, there is still this voice in my head that tells me I’m not enough, which is why I cannot say I am recovered.

However, looking back over the past year and a half, I’m so much better. I’ve made so much progress, and that is what recovery ultimately is. A year ago, I wouldn’t have imagined I would be binge AND purge-free for so long. But hey, look at me!

Recovery does not go like this:

Enter treatment, get diagnosed, receive medication, cry, stop bad habits, voila.

NO.

Recovery goes more like this:

Get dragged into treatment, kicking and screaming, get diagnosed with something you didn’t even want to believe you had, be given medication daily to make sure you take it and swallow and not secretly keeping it in your drawer, crying almost every single night, therapy several times a month, lose your friends because you’ve got no time since you’re always seeing a doctor, cry every single morning when you wake up, slip up every few days, cry some more, slip up every few weeks, cry a lot more, gain weight, gain more weight, lose some weight, gain even more, slip up every couple months, cry some more, hate yourself, fight with the people you love, bad habits getting less often, but still occurring, hate yourself, cry a lot, bad habits becoming very rare. (lots of stuff in between). Happiness.

That’s all I can say at the moment about recovery since there is no single, definite ending to the recovery process.

What is the point of this post? I was thinking about it in the shower.

Oh yes.

Recovery is not easy. It’s difficult.

It’s hard to deal with the weight gain. It’s hard to look at old photos and see it. It’s hard to hear people talk about it behind your back. It’s hard to hear people ask you about it to your face. But, do they know? Maybe not.

I know what it was like to feel like it would never end. I remember walking one day and thinking, it’s a disease that will never leave my body. It will always consume me.

But now I know that progress in recovery is completely possible.

One thing that really keeps me going though, is my desire to be fit. I love sports. I do.

Who cares about weight gain if when you flex you have abs and popping quads?

Are you afraid of people calling you fat? Well, they can’t.

Are you afraid of calling yourself fat? Well, you can’t either because you’ve got a six pack and can squat 100kg.

I’m not defining my goal body ^ to be when I finally reach the glorious yet ambiguous title of “recovered”. But fitness is my passion and its what makes me happy. And happiness is the key. (at least, in my opinion).

So, I’m aware my blog post has absolutely no structure whatsoever, and it’s quite ramble-y and perhaps a bit too “TMI”, but what I’m trying to say is.

If you’re about to go into recovery, or struggling with it. I want you to know.

1. IT IS POSSIBLE

2. There will come a day in which you will see how far you’ve come, and you will be proud because you never thought it would happen

3. You will slip up. Many. Many. Many. Many. Many. Many. Many many many many times. And THAT’S OKAY.
You will get urges. Lots of ‘em. Plenty. But you have to fight on, and push through. Because you are more powerful than food, and you are more powerful than your disorder.

4. YOUR DISORDER DOES NOT DEFINE YOU. It doesn’t have to be part of your biography. But your fight against it can, because it means you are STRONG, and you are HOLDING ON.

5. DON’T GIVE UP. Ever. You will feel like failing. You will feel like relapsing. You will feel any and every emotion possible and sometimes even all at the same time. But don’t give up on yourself and don’t give up on the people around you, because they also want to see you better.

6. DON’T FOCUS ON THE WEIGHT GAIN. Even if it’s way higher than a “healthy BMI”, RELAX. When you have an eating disorder, your weight fluctuates a lot, and when you start recovery, maybe even more. Don’t sweat it (no pun intended). Stabilize your body weight FIRST and stabilize your eating patterns. THEN focus on healthifying your body and improving your composition… HEALTHILY!!!!!! Trust me, I know this first hand. I’ve been focused so much on my weight gain that I never even gave myself a chance to HEALTHILY lose weight – but it starts now (post on it later maybe?)

It is difficult. I know. If you need to cry, cry it out. If you need to talk, talk it out. (I am here also if you want to talk). But as number 6 said. Never, EVER, give up.

I think that’s all I need to say right now.

Hopefully it made a bit of sense.

****Side note – No. I am not here to “complain about how hard my life is” or to seek attention. I’m here to hopefully reach someone out there, struggling, and encourage them to keep on fighting for their life and health.

ITS OKAY TO FEEL BEAUTIFUL.

it is OK TO FEEL BEAUTIFUL.

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the other day, i put on a dress, opened photobooth, and i smiled for the camera (or away from it). as i was trying different poses, i couldn’t help but feel conceited.

but then i realized. it’s okay to feel beautiful. there is NOTHING wrong with saying to yourself “oh i actually look quite nice”.

no one likes feeling ugly, but sadly, that’s become the “NORM”. to hate yourself, to be ashamed, to avoid looking into mirrors in fear that the reflection looking back at you is a hideous creature you call “me”.

i don’t think that i’m a particularly “pretty” person. my self esteem is honestly crap, and i hate how i look 98.7% of the time. whenever i look into the mirror, the first thing i look at are all the things i consider “ugly” on myself. i start with my legs, onto my little belly bulge, and then onto the small details of my face that barely anyone would even notice. scrutinizing every single inch of my body. sometimes i actually leave the house not knowing how i actually look like because i was too busy pinching my thighs in front of the mirror. i wish i was lying..

the sad part is… i know i’m not the only one.

but every once in a while, i take out my phone, flip the camera, get some good lighting, and smile. i look at the picture and i think to myself, hmm. not bad. display pic worthy? maybe.

AND THIS IS OKAY.

so if you feel beautiful, don’t be afraid to admit it. don’t be afraid to show everyone, because feeling beautiful SHOULD BE WHAT IS NORMAL.

do what makes you feel beautiful.

it doesn’t matter how you may think you look, it’s about feeling it that matters. so whether it is through putting make up or not, shaving your legs or having “no-shave november” in place 12 months a year… as long as you feel beautiful, don’t let it stop you.

go out there and show the world that it is okay to feel beautiful. it is okay to feel confident. it is what should be happening but sadly isn’t.

so my point is, if you feel beautiful and want to take a picture, take it.

don’t be ashamed.

it is normal.

and some more proof that it is normal to take countless selfies? #noshameintheselfie

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Peanut Butter-Chocolate Explosion Pancakes!

Hmmmm. Yes. Don’t we all love pancakes? I know I do!

Sadly, I haven’t eaten pancakes in a very long time, however, this morning I woke up, and I told myself…

It’s time to make my pancakes again.

So I headed over to my kitchen, looked through my ingredients, threw them into a bowl (okay, not literally), and whipped up a batch of these flat cakes of deliciousness. 

Screenshot 2014-08-31 18.14.36Ingredients: 

for pancakes:

dry:

1/2 cup flour (I used 50% oat, 50% bread flour)

2 tbsp cocoa powder 

1/2 tsp baking powder 

1/4 tsp baking soda 

wet: 

2 eggs at room temperature

1/4 cup plain yoghurt 

1/4 cup skimmed milk 

for toppings: 

2 tbsp original PB2 mixed with 1 tbsp skim milk 

2 tbsp premium chocolate PB2 mixed with 1 tbsp skim milk 

cacao nibs  

Instructions: 

1. In a large bowl, mix in all dry ingredients. Sift well. Make sure that there are no lumps. 

2. In a separate bowl, beat eggs well. Then, add yogurt and skimmed milk. 

3. Slowly add wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mixing simultaneously. 

4. Let batter sit for 5 minutes untouched. Meanwhile, grease a pan with PAM cooking spray. 

5. Once evenly heated, lower heat to medium and begin preparing pancakes. Let sit around 2.5 minutes on each side, flip over, and wait an additional 2 minutes. 

6. Prepare two different types of PB2s and top your delicious chocolate explosion pancakes. 

7. And most importantly, enjoy your delicious, healthy stack of pancakes! 

 

Updates, Summer, 13.86 km & Lunch

So I really have not posted here in a long while.. So quick updates.

1. My first article for Hola Magazine in China has been published on their website! You can check it out here. Sadly, it’s in Spanish so if you guys want to read it I have the English version here. It’s called: “Why the Healthy Lifestyle?” which explains some science behind how adequate nutrition and exercise can make you a happier person.

2. School started again after a month and a half of holiday. I went to Korea, Mexico and the USA.

Stop 1: Korea. Although it was just a transit, we had 7 hours to be in Korea, so we figured we’d take one of the free transit tours that Incheon Airport had to offer, so we took the 5 hour Seoul tour. We went to a palace, a buddhist temple, and Insadong street – a shopping street in downtown Seoul. There, we had lunch. I enjoyed a nice serving of bulgogi with my dad and my friend, and my sister enjoyed a nice serving of vegetarian bibimbap.

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Stop 2: Mexico City. Being from Mexico, I went there to visit my family and friends. Sadly, I was only in the city with them for around one week, but I did get to see them and enjoy a birthday party celebrating my birthday along with 3 other cousins’ birthdays.

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me hitting a piñata during my birthday party

We also went to downtown Mexico City to show my friend around. We went to see churches, and we ate amazing food.

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from left to right: Mexican flag in downtown Mexico; me at Avenido Madero; my sister, dad and I in front of the Palace of Fine Art in Mexico. 

Stop 3: Cancún, Mexico. Yes, we got to go to the beach! It was so nice there, and it was an all inclusive 5-star resort. That means endless amount of fruit. Which means endless amount of pineapple. Yum.

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Just a couple of pictures from the beach. On the left is a picture of the beach near an ancient Maya city called Tulum. On the right is a picture of the beach that we stayed at. 

Stop 4: Oregon. The day after returning from Cancún, we flew up to LA. The next day, we drove up to San Francisco. The next day, we drove up 10 hours to Oregon. There, we went white water rafting (and I fell into a rapid… Fun). We also went hiking to see a waterfall, had a campfire and had so much fun with my family there.

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Waterfall in Oregon. 

Stop 5: Los Angeles. After staying in Oregon for a few days, we drove back down to Fairfield (near San Francisco) and I got to attend a nutrition lecture at UC Berkeley. It was so nice and exciting and I will write more on that later. After a couple more days, we drove back down to LA and got to go to Universal Studios, Los Angeles, for the first time! It was really cool and extremely fun.

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Jurassic Park ride in Universal Studios, Los Angeles. 

That pretty much concludes my holiday. Of course, we did a lot more, but I don’t want this post to go on forever (which it just might.)

3. My obsession with fruits (especially pineapple) is here to stay (I hope!) After spending time in Mexico and the USA, I had access to so much fresh fruit that was so much cheaper than here in Singapore, meaning I got to eat fruit that I normally wouldn’t. Upon coming back to Singapore, I realized I couldn’t live without my fruit. So, it led to this.

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Considering we used to only buy apples and bananas (I’m not kidding), this is a lot of fruit for our household. 

4. Puppies!! When I was in the USA, I got extremely close with my aunt’s dog called Charger. He was a mini male maltese and an adorable little doggy.

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Me with Charger inside a hoodie. 

After realizing how a little puppy made me so happy, my sister and I asked our parents if we could adopt a puppy when we got back here. So, after thinking about it for a couple of weeks, we agreed to go through with it and get two puppies. My sister got a toy poodle, and I got a mini girl maltese. I’m picking her up in a week since she just got dewormed and they needed to take care of her for a little while more. I think I’m going to name her Asia.

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Little Asia in my hands. She’s so tiny. 

5. This morning, I went walking with my dad at Macritchie Reservoir next to our condo. We ended up doing 13.86km in total alternating between jogging and walking. I gotta say, it was really nice to go through the woods and get some fresh air.

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Our walk recorded by the Lorna Jane App. Pretty intense, huh?

6. Last but not least. Lunch. Basmati rice, Sweet & Sour Prawn, and fruit. Yes, there is a lot of pineapple.

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Picture of my lunch. Creds to my wonderful mom for preparing the delicious sweet & sour prawn. And creds to my wonderful father for editing my photo. You can check his website out here

I think I’m done writing for the day. I know I haven’t posted in a really long time and I will try to post more often. Hopefully, I will be able to. If you read all of this, wow. I’m impressed. Haha. Anyway!

Hope you’re all having lovely days/nights/mornings wherever you are in the world.