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'Healthy' The New 'Unhealthy' | Living in the now (PART 3)

Evening Chickpeas, I hope you've had another lovely week. I'm back with the last and final part of my 'Healthy' the new 'Unhealthy' posts, if you've not the first two parts, catch up on Part 1 here & Part 2 here. Please go give them a little read!

In my last post I talked about how I came to a realisation of my Orthorexia. I discussed how I began to challenge and accept it more than I have done before. I talked about making small changes and how mindset is one of the biggest factors and things to tackle. Well, in this last post I wanted to talk about where I am now currently at. My current mindset and how much things have changed, along with little tips and ways to cope, which I hope benefit you too!

Firstly... I'm not saying I've recovered, like I stated in Part 2, I still get various traits creeping back in. HOWEVER, I am in a much different place than I was this time last year or 2 years ago.

 Most days I can kick Orthorexia's big ass in the face. 

Food now...

Bringing the post to this day, right now. Things have changed. I see food and fitness a lot differently than I did.

Now, as you will notice I eat a lot of what you class as 'healthy' food however the way I value and view 'healthy' is now a positive light. I now eat a whole variety of foods! It's no longer a chore or something that I feel obliged.

 Healthy, isn't just food anymore, it's life, feelings and happiness. It shows balance and living in the real world. That means nourishing your body with plenty of macro nutrients and micro nutrients, fresh produce, good protein and healthy fats but also enjoying the slice of cake on your coffee trip with your Mumma, popcorn at the cinema or 1 or 2 pieces of chocolate after dinner because you fancy it. It also means being able to go out for dinner or not stress because you forgot to meal prep. It's about being able to sense a little freedom in that you know your own body and what makes you feel good. 

Nothing I eat now do I feel 'have' to, I enjoy everything I make and eat. I value nutritional benefits rather than obsessing over them. I love the way you can play and experiment with various foods and exciting flavors. The way scientifically food is there to fuel, support and heal ourselves is something I find really fascinating. 

I focus on a huge variety of food, including all food groups. I try listen to my body, most days eating when I'm hungry and stopping when I'm full. I don't count calories, and don't worry about meal times.  I'm aware of what I am putting in my body but no longer in a completely obsessive way like I was 12 months ago. I'm not saying every day is easy or that sometimes I don't fuss over calories or the fact I haven't had lunch but these things take time. 

I no longer have a 'label' with food, you can read my post HERE as to why I am no longer Vegan. Some days I love fish and veggies, others I love a big slice of vegan cheesecake, some days I'm loving chicken kebabs at the family BBQ and others I'm craving a big Vegan Buddah style bowl.
Oh and falafel. Damn we know my love for hummus and falafels. 

Fitness now...

A brief little thing I want to cover is how more relaxed I am with my fitness and exercise now.

 My mindset towards this has been a big change. 2 years ago, I was ADDICTED to exercise, scarily addicted. And again due to Orthorexia and my health obsession, I got into a routine where I constantly had to be exercising. It was something my mind was forcing. I had it in my head that I had to lift weights because of what others were saying. I wasn't even doing it for enjoyment, just to punish my body, usually for what I had eaten. 

But now? I love movement, I love exercise and I love to be active! In so many forms!

 It's a complete celebration that your body can move, dance, run, jump and support you through so much. It's something I now very closely cherish. I love to go to the gym yes, but I don't feel like I have to or that I have to do a particular thing. I can move my body and be active anywhere, I love anything from circuits, yoga, walking, dancing around my kitchen to bloody hula hooping (my favourite!). Honestly, I just go with what my body wants and what makes it feels good. And if it needs a sleep? Well that's good too.

I do try to keep myself aware of properly listening to my body when it comes to exercise. I know my mind can very easily jump in quickly back to old ways. But it's something we keep having to challenge like I always say. 

Pushing through each day... 

Each day, I've found little coping mechanisms which help me push through when my mind likes to play little blips on me or things that have helped me get to the point I am today. 

  • Saying YES more. By this I mean saying yes when you get invited out to lunch with your Mum or afternoon coffee with your best friend, saying yes if your partner has made you a delicious meal or Nana has offered you some cake. Say yes to unplanned things, getting invited to event, parties, walks, anything! Start saying yes when your Eating Disorder wants you to say no. Mixing up your usual schedule helps break the hold Orthorexia has on you and your usual 'safe', 'healthy' routine. 
  • Throw out the Calorie Counters. Yep, If I'm honest saying goodbye to calorie counting and 'My Fitness Pal' has helped me an awful lot. It's just another obsessive, compulsion you have to try and let go of. I know once I allow myself to be placed in the position where I'm obsessed with calories, it only pleases Orthorexia a whole lot more. Now, I know not everyone is the same. I know people who have no issue with food and love to track macros and count calories! However... All these tracking apps were doing for me, was preventing me from ever creating a health relationship with food. Try it for one meal and see how you feel. Don't track a thing, sit down, just focus on lots of colour and variety and start to appreciate each mouthful, taste, texture and appreciate food in a different way. 
  • Find one main reason. Despite what your head is telling you, find one main reason to out weight all of the thoughts that Orthoreixa brings you. This could be anything from your dog, to your best friend, mum, future job, boyfriend, girlfriend. Just find one thing that keeps you pushing through and brings positive aspects to your life Think about what you would lose if you let your Eating Disorder win. 
  • Don't put too much pressure on yourself. I know there are days where I get so frustrated for showing an old trait or struggling a little. But the truth is, these things take time and you simply cannot be to hard on yourself. You're not running a 100m sprint, this is a long winding marathon, with ups and downs. Let your body and mind take the time it needs to adapt and recover. 
  • Every meal doesn't have to be 'perfect'. A funny one really taking in the account I run a 'foodie' health & fitness Instagram & blog. But, let me tell you how I've changed with this. A year ago, I was obsessed with making sure every single meal was 'pretty' and 'perfect'. With not a crumb out of place. It was something that drove me insane rather than something I found enjoyment in. I've now accepted that every meal isn't 'perfect', you don't have to have 10 blueberries evenly placed on top of your oats or every sweet potato chip in line with the other placed perfectly next to your chicken. Sometimes you don't have bloody time or really cannot be bothered!!! Sometimes you just want to shove everything in your dish and be done with it. I mean I love to create amazing looking meals and foods, pretty smoothie bowls are actually fun! But I only ever do it now when I'm creating a recipe or wanting to share it on Instagram, and you know what I actually enjoy it!  
  • Try something new every other day. Rather than trying something new 'every day', switch it to every other day. This has helped me mentally in coming to terms with change. Knowing you're trying something new every other day is a lil less scary than every day. This could be anything from trying some avocado in your salad, waking up 15 minute later, not tracking the calories you've burned on your run (just enjoy the bloody run!), going out for dinner without checking the menu, trying a new snack, whatever it may be. Set yourself something that will once again challenge your Orthorexia. 
Thoughts and the future...

I'm not perfect. Each day is different and a new challenge. 

As you know one of the biggest passions of mine is Health & Fitness, I love my blog and what I do. When I first started training for my PT course and studying sport and nutrition, I realised that my future and career was health & fitness. I was slightly worried that it was only going to feed my obsession. I questioned whether I was running this whole thing in order to jut continue to control food. But in all honesty! That is so wrong. 

The whole process of learning about nutrition, the body, sport and fitness has actually allowed to proceed in a more balanced and happier life. Purely because I understand things and facts a whole lot better than just believing what I heard from others. And I actually love studying it, I love learning new things and I think the way the body fuels, runs and works is really exciting.

I hope I can use everything I go through, every experience I have and everything I learn to progress on and help other in similar situations to myself. I hope I can be there for many people and pass of and give any support they need.
Through all of this all anyone ever wants is to simply be who they are, be happy with it and accepted.

The place I am in now, I'm happy to say
I do a lot more of what Holli wants without 1) feeling guilt or 2) feeling judged. Like, I enjoy PIZZA and SALADS for god damn sake. I do more of what I want and less of what I think I should. Things never leave but most of the time this shit doesn't get the better of me. I most of the time fuel and nourish my body and I'm constantly moving in some way or the other, but I also love to sleep a hell of a lot and I have a weakness for ice cream and peanut butter. And let me tell you. Life I so god damn better this way. 

And I think that's a great way to sum up these posts and finish them off.

Truth is, we all have to start somewhere. This is your chance.

I hope by these posts, you've gained some understanding towards Orthorexia. I also hope it may have given you some comfort or support if you're also struggling, encouraged you to take action or recover. Remember you can always contact me or ask me any questions and I'll always be happy to answer. 

Lots of love,

Holli xxx


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