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WIAW: The Steps I HAVE made

When looking over my summer thus far, it could be very easy to slip into a self deprecating mindset. I have not made the strides or steps that I had initially thought I’d make in my recovery. And to that, yes, I am disappointed in myself. But more than disappointed, I guess I can say I am humbled and accepting of how obviously hard this work is, and that I no doubt set too lofty of goals upon myself. 

Being a high achiever and someone with rigid expectations of success, it is easy for me to only see the finish line and whether or not I reached it. I am not comfortable seeing whatever steps or improvements I may have made along the way. That “all or nothing” mindset. It’s real.

But I have to see the steps I have made this summer. No I have not reached the finish line of where I thought I’d be, but my goodness, when I look back to the beginning of the summer and look at where I am now, I have to see all the improvements and changes I have made. Some small, some bigger, but all monumental and important – if to myself only. 

I’m just beginning to let myself see these steps I’ve made – and begin to let go of the guilt of not reaching that lofty goal – now. Although yesterday wasn’t the most monumental of days to showcase how far I’ve come, I was acutely aware of the changes I have made throughout the day. So this week’s What I Ate Wednesday is simply helping me to realize some of these changes. 

WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONS

Thanks to the weekly hosts

Breakfast:

So at the very beginning of the summer, my mom made her favorite banana oat pancakes. She made the “mistake,” of showing me the ingredient list the night before (something which, supposedly, I instructed her to do years ago…. so to no fault of her own, she thought this was still what I “wanted”). To my dismay as well as her own, this turned out not to be a good idea. The ingredient list (oh you know, some wheat, real sugar, real oil… lethal weapons)  festered in my mind all night and into the morning and, long story short, ended in a anxiety provoked run around my lake and an injured knee. Obviously there was more going on in that day/week that lead to the anxiety, but the overwhelming anger I felt was directed purely at the pancakes and my mother. Awful.

Yesterday, which was a holiday and thus a typical time for us to have something a little more special for breakfast, my mother asked if I’d like pancakes…

There was hardly a twinge of doubt in my mind when I said, “sure.” I did have a different plan in my head, but the notion of having a sit down meal with my parents – and someone else cooking – was way more powerful than my separate plan. This never would have happened in the past (if I had a plan… it was the plan).  And those pancakes? I didn’t give a squat about the ingredient list. That was pretty cool. 

pancakes steps eating disorder recovery

Mom’s banana oat pancakes (plus one more) / sunflower butter / homemade blueberry jam / strawberries 

Ps. So I’ve never been a big peanut butter and jam fan. But salted sunflower seed butter and jam!? OH MY GOD. 

Snack? Lunch #1?

This is often the time I squeeze in an Ensure – which is basically the biggest step out of all. I wouldn’t even consider the notion of drinking them ever since I left the hospital. I saw them only as pure sugar and immediate belly bloating weight gain. Now? I see them as a hell of a lot of good nutrients and good things for my body that I can get in quickly and easily. 

That being said, yesterday I chose some real food over the liquid substitute. 

Remember my first liberte yogurt? Well now, it honestly feels like a no brainer. Full fat yogurt, let alone 9% liberte yogurt, let alone free spooning it into a bowl without measuring.….. wouldn’t have come close to happening 4 months ago. 

yogurt w cake steps eating disorder recovery

Caramel Liberte Yogurt + failed baking attempt at a gluten free/coconut flour lemon loaf stashed away in the freezer because #Ican’tgetridofanything

This was actually delicious. Failed baking attempt restored!!

Lunch #2:

bean salad steps eating disorder recovery

Bean and corn mexican salad / bed of spinach / roasted sweet potato / avocado / feta

Snack:

A “snack” at 4 pm? Wouldn’t have happened. But if my shifts at work have helped me with anything, its been getting used to eating at non routine – and previously “unallowed” times. I know that going into work I won’t be able to eat for a number of hours, and thus I know I need to have something in me. No matter the time. 

Also. Iced coffees. I always order my iced coffees with milk (instead of the standard cream they use if you do not specify). I honestly do like the taste better. However, in the past, I would not have even drank the iced coffee if it had been made with cream by mistake. Yesterday, it was definitely made with cream. I don’t think I even noticed until half way to work, to which I honestly just thought – hey this one actually tastes good. And thought nothing of it. 

snack chips steps eating disorder recovery

Riceworks brown rice chips (oh my god new addiction) / creamy vanilla iced coffee 

This car scene has been happening quite a bit lately. Probably explains all the crumbs in my seat. Pump up the car-tunnesssss. 

Dinner:

Oh my god you guys. THIS. SALAD. I am lit-er-all-y obsessseeddddd. Its got to be crack. It’s just got to be. 

Okay, given it is a salad, but still –  the notion of having more than one healthy fat in a meal a few months ago was really, really scary. This baby is packed solid with avocado, GOAT CHEESE and nuts. That’s three. My thoughts? “More healthy goodness for my body!” And thus I’ve been having it every…night……

And I mean, obviously what makes this salad so unfreaking RIDICULOUS is the three pounds of goat cheese, the whole avocado, the entire bag of craisins and the bucket of creamy poppyseed dressing. So to take any of it out would just be a shammeeeeee.

work salad steps eating disorder recovery

Quinoa / Kale Salad with Goat Cheese, Avocado, Craisins and Walnuts.

Crack. 

Dessert

Don’t think I have to mention my steps with ice cream to you guys now do I?  But finishing off the Ben and Jerrys last night, and even adding on some extras, made me realize that I really don’t think getting any other kind of ice cream – other than the real kind – would even be worth it?? 

ice cream steps eating disorder recovery

Ben and Jerries Peanut Butter Cookie Dough / 70% Dark chocolate 

cherries steps eating disorder recovery

And about 4/5 of this bucket of cherries. 

Nature’s candy. 

I’m not tooting my horn… AT ALL. Good lord – far from it. I have many things that still scare me, many more fears to still face and many more steps to make. But even these steps are proof that I am healthier – my mind is healthier – than at the beginning of the summer.

If we only ever focus on that lofty goal – which may take years to even reach – and only focus on all the steps we haven’t yet taken, how will we ever find the compassion, strength and encouragement, within ourselves, to continue on? A self induced pat on the back can give us a bit of strength to keep going. And we must realize that, even if we don’t feel it or aren’t letting ourselves see the changes we’ve made…. we are always making positive changes. As long as we are trying, we are always improving. Always learning. Always getting stronger. In some way or another. And although they may be small steps, it is these steps that will eventually get us to that finish line. 

It is not just about the finish line goal. Take pride in the steps you make along the way!… Click To Tweet

Tell me,

What is one positive step you’ve made this summer? (In reaching for ANY goal you may currently have for yourself??)

 

35 COMMENTS

  1. Emily Swanson | 3rd Aug 16

    Cora, these are HUGE steps. The snacks at 4 pm. The real cream in the coffee. The ice cream consumed. The ceasing to care about the ingredients. Literally, those are some of the BIGGEST victories, and I love that you are counting the blessings in each victory. Don’t put yourself down for what hasn’t been accomplished, because you are growing and healing by leaps and bounds. <3 You don't know how your vulnerability inspires me to be more honest.
    Emily Swanson recently posted…25 Things You Didn’t Know About Me Before Now + A Giveaway!My Profile

    • Cora | 6th Aug 16

      Thank you Emily <3

  2. Susie @ Suzlyfe | 3rd Aug 16

    SO, so sosososososososososoo proud of you. Oh my goodness, Cora. Please please please be proud of yourself!!!
    Susie @ Suzlyfe recently posted…Building Your Fitness Support System (ACTIVEx Review)My Profile

    • Cora | 6th Aug 16

      Thanks, Suz. I’m trying to be. I think I am.. πŸ™‚

  3. Kate | 3rd Aug 16

    The pancake story made me SO happy.
    I have to agree that working a non routine job forced me to be more flexible with food, which helped tremendously in the long run!
    You are making strides my dear- and you have all the reasons to be proud!

    • Cora | 6th Aug 16

      Thanks, Kate. The work timing is super unideal and frustrating for everyone, but for me, I have to have a bit of gratitude for forcing me out of my comfort zone. Which is now definitely going to help in all times to come.

  4. Kat | 3rd Aug 16

    Girl you should be so proud and happy about the progress that you’ve made this summer. No one is perfect and I understand that you wish you could’ve done a bit more in terms of recovery progress, but the progress you HAVE made is absolutely phenomenal [and totally inspiring]. The pancake story alone is enough to make me fist pump here in my empty office for you πŸ˜‰
    Kat recently posted…[WIAW] Focusing On New Healthy FatsMy Profile

    • Cora | 6th Aug 16

      Thanks, Kat. And thanks for the fist pump into thin air. I’m fist pumping you right back and looking extra silly <3

  5. Sarah @ BucketListTummy | 3rd Aug 16

    I LOVE THIS POST. The pancakes story is such a great example of how far you’ve come, and same with the iced coffee with cream! For the record, I usually prefer milk, but adding a little cream does enhance the taste. And that salad is something I would literally dream of – goat cheese, craisins and kale go together so well. Sadly, I would have to leave off the Walnuts. You hit the nail on the head when you say we need to recognize our accomplishments – same wavelength as I touched upon that today, too. Insert lots of applause emoji’s here! πŸ™‚
    Sarah @ BucketListTummy recently posted…Rising Above Negative Self TalkMy Profile

    • Cora | 6th Aug 16

      We were on the same length! Thanks, Sarah. And that salad is just as epic without the walnuts…:)

  6. Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar | 3rd Aug 16

    Oh my goodness, Cora! I am so so proud of you! It actually sounds like you’ve made amazing steps toward recovery. Eat full fat yogurt without measuring? Girl! That’s a real accomplishment. I don’t mean to preach, but I wouldn’t be down on yourself at all about the goals you haven’t quite made yet. We can only do so much at once–and you’ve done a lot in a pretty short period of time.
    I can totally relate on the pancake story, by the way. Once my mom made waffles, and I looked up the recipe later in my Betty Crocker cookbooko, which included the nutrition facts. It was like 100 calories or something more than I thought I was “allowed” to have for breakfast, even though I was supposed to be gaining weight, and I was so upset that I literally threw the cookbook across the room. My cookbook’s missing a couple of pages as a result. πŸ™
    You are a rockstar <3
    Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar recently posted…A Summer Without Exercise + WIAWMy Profile

    • Cora | 6th Aug 16

      Joyyycee. Thank you for sharing that story. Really. Makes me feel a little less… crazy? alone? Its pretty crazy though, isn’t it. Sure makes you look back and realize some things.

  7. Katie @ Peace Love & Oats | 3rd Aug 16

    THESE ARE ALL HUGE!!!! You should feel SO GOOD about the progress you’ve made!! I remember being at a friends house and she was pouring olive oil into the pan to make veggies and she saw my face… haha “relax Katie, this is normal,” is what she said to me. It takes time but I think you’re doing an AMAZING job. Like woah amazing. πŸ™‚ Keep on keeping on
    Katie @ Peace Love & Oats recently posted…Find What Makes You GlowMy Profile

    • Cora | 6th Aug 16

      Thank you so much Katie. Thank you for sharing that story. I know that exact feeling that your face was expressing…

  8. Miss Polkadot | 3rd Aug 16

    Just like you said you’d come over and make sure I spend money on myself I think I’ll need to pop over to make you toot your own horn loud and proudly. Can you please see the massive leaps you made this summer?! I’m proud and impressed. Give me some of your motivation and strength.

    • Cora | 6th Aug 16

      I think we have ourselves a deal then, no? We go over to each others houses and kick some serious ass. <3

  9. Casey the College Celiac | 3rd Aug 16

    Congrats girl! Baby steps – and delicious steps at that! This summer, I’ll admit, started out really rough for me. My boyfriend of nearly two years and I suddenly broke up and I really felt shattered for a while. However, not to toot my own horn, but I’ve kicked some booty this summer! I scored an amazing internship that I’m going to keep working in this next semester of school, gotten several pieces of writing published, taught my first writing class, visited LA, possibly lined up a job after I graduate college next semester and survived the move to Colorado Springs with my family! A mouthful and busy and stressful and insane…but so rewarding πŸ™‚
    Casey the College Celiac recently posted…Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti SquashMy Profile

    • Cora | 6th Aug 16

      Heck YEAH GIRL! Oh my gosh. Reading this made me SO happy. You are kicking ass. I’m really sorry to hear about the break up. Of course this was, and probably still is, very hard. But as cliche as it sounds, sometimes closed windows upon up new doors, right? And it sure sounds like you are opening up some AMAZING doors <3 <3

  10. Julia @ Drops of Jules | 3rd Aug 16

    Hey, recovery has no set time period in which it needs to take place. I was just like you, thinking I had it all mapped out. Oh how wrong I was about that all. I love that you’re taking the pressure off yourself now and celebrating the progress you’ve made thus far. You should be so proud of yourself, Cora. <3

    One positive step I made this summer: letting GO! I drank alcohol, I ate gelato and I just enjoyed myself socially. During my eating disorder, I made myself a recluse, but I let go this summer. It was the best.
    Julia @ Drops of Jules recently posted…Extreme Hunger, The Breathing Metaphor for RecoveryMy Profile

    • Cora | 6th Aug 16

      YESSSS Julia. That is so, so awesome. I know what it feels like to let yourself out when you’ve been living so closed in, and it is just the absolute best. Which you deserve for yourself, full heartedly. YAY <3.

  11. Lyss | 3rd Aug 16

    these are huge steps love!! the pancake story made me smile so big. you should be SO proud of yourself girl! and I have been loving cherries lately- they taste amazing during the summer months! xoxo
    Lyss recently posted…Recap- ACTS Church RetreatMy Profile

    • Cora | 6th Aug 16

      Thanks, Lyss.
      I lovvveeeee cherries. Such a treat that we deserve.

  12. Ellie | 4th Aug 16

    You’re right, that salad looks epic! Also, it shows real growth that you allowed someone else to make food for you. It is hard to give up control like that.
    hmm…something I’ve accomplished this summer is learning to take pictures while I’m out and about. I want to remember my life, and pictures really help!
    Ellie recently posted…Cold Brew Coffee and WIAWMy Profile

    • Cora | 6th Aug 16

      Oh that’s cool Ellie! Pictures of just.. anything? Nature? People? I really started to get into picture taking a few years ago and really love being able to look back at even the smallest moments to bring back a certain feeling I had. Definitely helps with memories.
      And thank you for your recognition of the difficulties. Really appreciate it.

  13. Heather @ Polyglot Jot | 4th Aug 16

    Cora, congratulations on the progress you are making! I can so relate to being disappointed in the things you did not accomplish and forgetting to focus on what you did accomplish. Love that this posts celebrates the accomplishments!
    This summer I’ve done a decent job (and still working on it) of having less screen time at night!
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…Birthday RecapMy Profile

    • Cora | 6th Aug 16

      Yes – this has been on your goal lists! So I’m so happy to hear you recognizing yourself and the changes you’ve made here! We need to focus more on those accomplishments of ours.

  14. chasetheredgrape | 4th Aug 16

    Yes I am so glad you are now able to see all the progress you have made! Never put a time frame on recovery, you will only be dissapointed or end up using my favourite word ‘but’ after everything. And as you mentioned, there isn’t really an ‘end of the road’ – we just need to high five those awesome moments along our ever moving journey πŸ™‚
    Oh and those cherries… Once I start I can’t stop!

    • Cora | 6th Aug 16

      Ugh. That flippin, “but.” Its definitely been popping up as I try to recognize my steps this summer. Need to cast that word out to sea I think!!

  15. Kristy from Southern In Law | 4th Aug 16

    It is SO not tooting your own horn – you should be so incredibly proud of yourself for how far you’ve come, Every step, regardless of how small, is one in the right direction – and that should be celebrated!
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Recipe: Savoury Beet Bites (Vegan & Grain Free!)My Profile

    • Cora | 6th Aug 16

      Thanks, Kristy <3

  16. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets | 5th Aug 16

    Kudos to you for not only making these steps but also looking back and realizing, yes progress has been made.
    You know my feelings on goat cheese so please bring on that salad!!
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Cucumber Tomato Salad with Feta and ChickpeasMy Profile

  17. Cora | 6th Aug 16

    Thans, Meg. You and I would devour that salad.

  18. Link Love: August 7th, 2016 - Drops of Jules | 7th Aug 16

    […] The Steps I HAVE Made This Summer – My Little Tablespoon […]

  19. Cindy | 27th Feb 17

    I am so proud of you <3 (though I know this is a super old post). "Crack salad" seems like an oxymoron, but how can anything be bad with goat cheese, nuts, and cranberries?!
    Cindy recently posted…My Top 10 Cooking & Baking TipsMy Profile

    • Cora | 1st Mar 17

      GOAT CHEESE!! Its my everything. Thanks Cindy. Never too late. <3 <3

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