Sunday, 29 December 2013


It is almost the end of this year and the beginning of next year - 2014! This year went by so fast, likely because it was so busy and full of events! If you remember, last year, I discussed New Year's resolutions: Well, it is that time of year again! Everyone starts thinking of what they want to do differently this year - what goals they want to accomplish, or what they want to achieve in 2014.

Before we jump into this, I want to challenge you with a little activity. I want you to think back tothis year of 2013. But don't think of ANY event. I want you to think of the following:

1) An event that made you really happy or excited (ex. a good mark on a test, the birth of a baby, a ;promotion, a funny moment you shared with others, a vacation, etc). What happened? How did you feel at this time? Why did it make you happy? What was special about this event that made you remember it now?

Thinking back to something about the last year that made us happy is a great way to feel pleased with our lives. We remember an event that really made a difference to us - that made us feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, or that made us realize how blessed we are. The moment that I can think of is when I got invited to do multiple interviews for radio stations. This moment made me feel thankful for how far I have come, and it made me realize how many blessings God gave me. He gave me the chance to live life again, and this time, to use my experiences and pain to help others.

2) Now, I want you to think of an event that was difficult to deal with. Think back to something that frustrated you or made you feel angry or sad. This could be a fight with a spouse, a hard time at work with a boss or co-worker, lack of money to pay bills, etc.

No, I am not trying to make you depressed again! I want you to look at this event without any emotion - without the pain or hurt. Look back at what happened. What have you learned from this situation? How did this make you stronger or more mature? The moment in my life that I thought of was when I was being bullied online. I was angry and frustrated and hurt that this was happening to me, and I didn't understand why anyone would enjoy hurting me. At the time, I was angry and tried my best not to let it bother me. But I felt that I would always be bothered by it. However, I became stronger as a result of this situation. I learned not to let anyone bother me, regardless of what others say to me or think about me. I realized that people are always going to dislike you if you are better than them, or if they don't like something about you. You cannot please all humans at one time, and this situation made me realize that I don't really care what others say or feel about me. I love myself, and I have family and friends (and readers!) who love me, too. I also have a God who is bigger and greater than anything else, and He alone gives me strength and peace. The situation with the bullying taught me that I am a strong, beautiful ,smart, and determined woman. It also taught me not to let anything or anyone bring me down. So, I am thankful for this experience - not for the pain that it brought, but for the lessons it taught me and for the strength that came out of it.

Do you see how looking at the last year in this way can be therapeutic and helpful? Congratulations - you survived 2013! And while it may have been full of problems and frustrations, I am sure that it was also full of joys and surprises. I am also confident that you have grown and become stronger, wiser, happier, or smarter as a result of difficult experiences from 2013. As the new year comes in, I am inviting you to look back on 2013 with appreciation. Know that you survived 2013 and have also become a different person as a result of it. Now, look forward to 2014. Bring in the new year with those who love you and those that mean a lot to you. Have fun and make goals that will help you become a better person (but that will be a different post!). For now, please enjoy the beginning of 2014 and look back on 2013 with gratefulness and satisfaction, knowing that while it may have been hard, it was also fun, exciting, and a great learning experience.

God bless all of you. With all my heart, I pray and hope that you bring in 2014 with happiness and joy, and that you may all be safe. Thank you for the support that has allowed me to stay strong in my recover, to keep writing and working, and to be where I am today. I am so blessed (thank God!) to be celebrating the new year of 2014 with the support and love of all my family, friends, readers, and God. Take a deep breath and bring in 2014 with excitement, strength, love, and joy!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Christmas is coming up very soon (almost less than a week!)! This is my absolute favourite holiday. It is such a cheerful time. Snow falls from the sky and makes everything look bright and white. Christmas songs lighten up the mood. People smile and laugh more often. We give gifts to others and enjoy seeing them smile and become surprised. Families and friends gather together and enjoy quality time with one another. (Here's a fun challenge: try to learn, using the picture here, a way of saying Merry Christmas in a different language!)

If you are religious, Christmas is also the birth of Christ. So, you can think of Christmas as being someone's birthday - Jesus'! It is wonderful to think that we are welcoming baby Jesus into the world on this day. The birth of Christ not only reminds us of how humble Jesus was to come to earth and be born as human, but also challenges us to change our hearts so that we too can welcome Jesus into our hearts.

Something I love about Christmas is being around my family and friends. Spending time with people I love and whom love me makes me feel warm and special. It reminds me of what is really important. It also gives me an opportunity to be thankful for everything that I have in this world. I am alive and healthy, and I have a great support system. God has blessed me with a love for learning and teaching, and this helps me do well in school and help others. My blog has become an international site that many read for inspiration, advice, entertainment, and guidance. Christmas is also a great time to start thinking of goals that we would like to achieve.

My Christmas wish this year is that we all continue to grow in love for one another. I hope that your days are full of blessings and smiles. Remember to stay strong and not to let anyone or anything make you feel inferior or unworthy of happiness or love. No one is worth your tears or frustrations. The world is full of people who will always dislike you or be jealous of you. Love them anyways, and pray for them (I know this is hard, but at least you will be doing the right thing and showing some maturity!). Do not let anyone treat you as though you are not as good as they are. Do not let someone crush your goals or dreams or make you feel bad about yourself. Make a  healthy goal or have a dream - and then follow it. Challenges will undoubtedly arise, but know that you are stronger than anything that comes your way. Never give up, and never (even for a second) think or feel that you are not destined to be happy or successful. I am telling you - and giving you the permission to feel and understand - that you are WORTH IT. You are BEAUTIFUL and SPECIAL and you deserve to BE HAPPY. Surround yourself with people who you love and SMILE and LAUGH. Make this Christmas and holiday season a time of PEACE and make up with anyone you may have hurt or fought with. Get rid of all the hate and sadness, and replace it with LOVE and JOY.

I pray that anyone who is ill, hurt, struggling, tired, frustrated, sad, alone, etc may be healed or have some pain taken away from them. I pray for those with hard hearts who are harsh or angry - I pray that God may instill peace within their hearts. I pray that this blog continue to be a place where we can share our thoughts together, learn, teach, pray, support, and help one another. I pray that God may bless each and every reader of this blog - whether you comment or not. Thank you for taking the time to read these words and for passing it along to anyone who may need it.

Thank you, everyone, for giving me the love, support, guidance, and care that has allowed me to  grow emotionally, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and spiritually Thank you for supporting me in my recovery and for the prayers that are lifted for me. You are all so wonderful and hold an important place in my heart. Please enjoy this lovely time with your family and friends, eat well, laugh hard, smile wide, and spread some love. From my heart to yours, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays!!!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Should YOU 'go vegan' as well?

It seems to be the latest craze: go vegan! Avoid meats, eggs, dairy products, etc! Everyone is doing it - the news if full of stories about celebrities and popular figures who have reportedly dedicated their minds and lives to the vegan diet. Here's a simple example:,,20762485,00.html.

What IS the 'vegan' diet? As stated before, it is simply abstaining from all animal products or anything associated with animals. This is the definition in its strictest terms, although today, many people call themselves vegan even if they don't follow these particular restrictions. Anyhow, why the hype about this way of eating? What makes it so special and amazing?

Let's talk about the nutritional evidence. Studies have shown that vegans have lower risks of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, kidney stones, obesity, cancer, and more. NOTE however that this is an association, which means that the vegan diet did NOT cause the lower risk of adverse health events. Why does this association occur? Is it because vegans avoid meat and dairy products? The answer is complex, but simply put, the vegan diet is mainly made of fruits and vegetables, which are known to be healthy and have many benefits. However, I want to challenge you with some questions regarding the vegan diet and its supposedly 'miraculous' health effects:

1) What is I follow the vegan diet and eat fried veggies? Also, fruit with chocolate sauce? Is this still the so called 'extremely healthy' diet, as purposed?
2) What if I avoid meats as stated? And, I replace this with jelly beans, chocolate, and beer? Will this diet decrease my risk of cancer and all other health illnesses?
3) What are the reasons for going vegan? Is it religious? Is it because I think that it is the 'cool' thing to do, and everyone else is doing it?

I think the points above do a modest job of illustrating that the vegan diet is not all its made to be in the media and news. Religiously, some people may adopt this lifestyle - and that is perfectly fine. Others may decide to be vegan because they want to show their support and love for animals. I am not saying that any reason for following the vegan lifestyle is incorrect. What I AM saying is that you must now fall pretty into what the media says simply because 'everyone is doing it'.

You need to realize that the vegan diet, if followed by its truest nature, can be very healthy. But this is assuming that you focus on fruits and veggies that are natural (ex. not fried, cooked in butter, etc), and include many whole grains and fibre. But, really, is meat and dairy bad? No. Meat provides iron, zinc, vitamin B 12, and more. Dairy products are excellent sources of calcium and vitamin D, and also provide many other nutrients. What is the lesson to learn? Mainly, that a well-balanced diet is the best way to go. You need not eliminate certain foods just to be 'healthy'. If you eat everything in moderation (yes, including desserts), you will be healthy. If you exercise, reduce stress, and make time to relax, you can reduce your risk for many illnesses. You need not go 'vegan' simply because the media says that this is the best thing to do for weight loss and health. In fact, there are many ways to lose weight, all of which can include eating all foods in moderation.

What I also want you to be aware of is the influence of the news and media on our views. See how the media made veganism seem so wonderful? Each time a celebrity announces that they will eat a vegan diet, they are featured on the front cover of a magazine. Why? Who really cares what the president is eating for lunch? Does it matter what BeyoncĂ© decides to drink for breakfast? No. But the media KNOWS that this will catch our attention, and that doing so will attract viewers. Studies may show that veganism is healthy, but you need to remember that these studies are associations - they cannot prove (nor do they) that veganism alone causes decreased health problems. Remember that we also have to think of genetics, exercise, stress, smoking, alcohol, medications, health history, and more. A healthy diet that includes all foods from all food groups can be balanced and healthy.  If you are vegan by choice, remember to include foods that will provide you with enough nutrients and vitamins. If you aren't vegan and were thinking about it, reflect on this post and think about how the media may be influencing your choice. I am not purposing that one way of living is better than the rest. What I AM saying is that we all need to eat healthy foods in moderation and to enjoy food...and we need to be aware of how the media and others may skew our perceptions and beliefs. As always, my message to you is this: be informed before you make a decision, and look for credible sources of information that give you the full picture, not just what the messenger WANTS you to hear.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Yet another interview! Food and the Holiday Season

I'm so blessed to have yet another opportunity to share my experiences and knowledge with the world. This time, I was asked by OCN (Orthodox Christian Network) to do an interview about food and the holiday season - a topic relevant to this time of the year!

This interview topic is near and dear to my heart or several reasons. As a survivor of anorexia nervosa, I know all too well how it feels to be overwhelmed by food - especially at Christmas time, when everyone is talking about food! Last Christmas, I was still in recovery - but before that, I was struggling with ED. When I was ill, I tried my hardest to avoid food at all costs, but this became very hard to do during the holiday season. Being recovered now (thank God!), I realize how difficult this time was for me and how it stressed me out. As a recovered victim of an eating disorder, I understand how stressful food can become for many people - even those without eating disorders.

We are bombarded during this time (all the time really, but MORE at Christmas!) with advertisements on food, weight loss, how to avoid weight gain during parties, etc. In fact, we sometimes forget what Christmas is all about because we get so caught up in the gifts, parties, and food. Some people struggle because they have ED, while others struggle because they do not want to gain excessive weight during this festive season. Even if you do not struggle with this at all, it is worth listening to the interview so that you can understand how to support others who may need help, but also to learn how to protect yourself from bring preoccupied with weight and food during this season.

So, I encourage you to listen to my latest interview with OCN abut food and the holidays, and how to avoid getting caught up with the 'small stuff' and instead focus on what this season really means to us: the birth of Christ, spending time with loved ones, being thankful for our blessings, and sharing with those who need any support or assistance. Once again, I would like to thank you all for your help, support, and love. I would never have the motivation to do all these interviews, publications, etc. without all the support I receive from my readers, friends, and family. God bless all of you!

Here is the link Let me know what you think of my interview!

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Cholesterol...and ED?

A typical work-up for any patient includes blood tests. A sample of blood can tell us a lot about the health of a patient, from electrolye levels to cholesterol. For ED patients, this can be very important because it can help us see what we need to do to help them. For example, low iron (typically from low meat or protein intake, as what happens in starvation) can cause anemia, so we might give the patient iron supplements. Similarly, we might see low calcium levels, along with a bone scan, and decide that the patient needs calcium supplements or vitamin D. We can also see their glucose levels and determine if their blood sugar is within the normal range.

All of this sounds helpful, right? But what about when the blood tests come back normal? Is the patient 'fine'? Does that mean that the patient cannot possibly have ED, or is not 'sick enough'? NO. Something I always tell my patients and nursing peers is that medicine is simply ONE tool to help us help others - it cannot be used alone. For example, we would need to conduct a thorough assessment on the patient and see what their hearts sounds are like, breathing sounds, muscular ability is, etc. To top that off, we need to know that blood values, like other things, are not always exactly 'perfect' in the information they tell us. This post is going to give one simple example about a blood value often seen in ED patients, and why so many patients continue to be ill because their medical teams believe that if their tests come back normal, they must be normal, too.

Blood tests can include cholesterol. We know that cholesterol is an essential part of many processes in the body, including making cell membranes and hormones. If a patient has ED and is not eating, you would expect cholesterol levels to be low, right? After all, if they are not eating enough fats, how would their body make cholesterol? Well, the interesting thing is that often in ED patients, cholesterol levels are high ( ). Once a physician sees this, they usually tell the patient to eat a low-fat and low-cholesterol diet. BUT WAIT! Patients wtih ED need to eat a variety of foods, including cholesterol and/or fats because our bodies need this to survive and function properly. Is there some kind of mistake here? Do we get another blood test? Or does the patient really need to eat a low-fat diet? Why do some patients with ED have high cholesterol levels?

Let me offer one explaination from a medical perspective: we know that cholesterol is made by the liver. When levels of fat/cholesterol in the body get too low, the liver needs to make more cholesterol to meet demands. In a patient with ED, low levels of fats means that the liver needs to make some. This is important because we need enough cholesterol and fats for normal functioning. So, the liver begins to make more and more cholesterol to keep the body in balance. But, this means that at any given moment, the patient's blood values may show elevated cholesterol levels. Does this mean that they should eat a low-fat diet? NO NO NO NO NO! This means that their liver is now working overtime to keep the body stable. Actually, to be healthy, the liver should be making only enough cholesterol to keep one healthy - not stressed trying to make more because the body is low on fat stores! Blood values in patients can return to normal once they are weight-restored and eating enough variety and the nutrients they need.

What do we learn from this? First, do not go by medical tests only. While they are helpful (I am a nursing student and know the value of my blood tests!), they cannot be used alone. We must use our discretion and careful assessments to better help our patients. We also learn that patients with ED who have high cholesterol levels may not need to be put on a low-fat diet. In fact, one of the best predictors of not relapsing and staying healthy in recovery was eating a diet that had enough fat in it (we need fat for cushioning, warmth, cell membranes, hormones, and so much more!). On a final note, we can learn that while patients may not appear to be sick, this can fool us because the body is extremely efficient at battling the stresses it faces...until it can no longer survive. So, do patients with ED need to eat low-fat diets? No. Not unless there is some strong compelling reason why they should be (as in, a major threat to their health that has been proven and is definite. Please note that this post refers to ED patients only. If you are a patient without ED a have high cholesterol levels, you may very well need to eat a low-fat diet for the sake of your health. Please talk to your doctor in that case!). In other words, don't judge something by simply what it looks like, or what you know. A blood test is a great way to learn about health, but it isn't the ONLY thing to look at. Remember how I always say that weight isn't the only indicator of health? The same thing applies here! Some might be underweight but healthy, whereas others may be a normal weight and still have disordered eating. Do not use one thing to make a judgment - be aware and informed!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Is 'fast food' BAD?

Does eating fast food cause obesity? Will I get fat if I eat a burger from McDonald's? Should we not encouarge kids to boycott Tim Hortons so that they will not gain weight? What if we decide to eat fruits all day and not eat chocolate or cake? Will we be healthy and lose weight? Commercials should stop telling us to buy their foods, right? This will stop obesity from occuring! Right? Maybe not...

You are probably familiar with the phrase 'obesity epidemic'. This refers to information that shows that over the past few years, obesity is on the rise. Researchers and medical professionals alike (along with parents, teachers, teens, and many, many people!) like to blame the fast food industry for this problem. They say that restaurants like McDonald's and Burger King, along with desserts like cake and pizza, are the cause of this problem. Their solution? Discourage the consumption of fast food! After all, if fast food causes obesity, the rational solution is to boycott it all together. But wait for a second. Are we not forgetting that obesity, like many other things, is not caused by ONE factor?

What causes obesity? We don't really know, to be honest. But we DO know that it is caused by many different things. Genetics, lifestyle, work, peer pressure, the media, and food availability are some factors. What does this mean? That eating fast food alone is not the cause of obesity. Of course, eating too much fast food, like anything else, can contribute to weight gain. Why? Sometimes, food that is not made in the home can be saturated with oil, butter, or other fats that can have negative effects on one's health. But, that is not to say that eating out occassionally is harmful. In fact, it is quite normal to do so, and is 'okay' to do in moderation. The problem becomes significant when one eats consistently out and does not balance this with an increase in excercise or an increase in consumption of other foods, such as whole grains, fruits/veggies, etc. In simpler words. eating out once in a while will NOT make you fat. Take a look at the picture to see how many factors are related to the development and maintainence of obesity.

In fact, to a certain extent, a low-fat diet is harmful. We need fat in our diets for some vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. Fat is an insulator, protects our bones, and can even serve as an energy source in desperate times. Low-fat diets are associated with an increase in adverse health effects. If this does not make sense, think about what happens to ED patients: they lose so much weight and do not consume enough lipids in their diet that their bodies begin breaking down muscle and proteins for energy, they starve, and they become very ill. Again, remember that everything is healthy and even 'okay'  - and needed - in moderation.

Let's return to the 'obesity epidemic'. What I want you to get out from this post is that fast food or certain foods alone cannot cause obesity. This is why it is wrong for the media/others to focus on JUST fast food as the sole purpose of obesity. I, being recovered from ED, still consume fat/oil/chocolate/cake/cookies/pizza/burgers in my diet. But I do so in moderation. AmI unhealthy or fat? No. But the media makes it seem as though eating at McDonald's automatically makes you fat or a big. They scare us with pictuers of big Macs and then frighten us with storeis of heart attacks. In a way, they are right that too much fat/cholesterol can lead to heart attacks and other health issues. But will eating out once in a while do so? No. Is eating out the ONLY way that people come to struggle with obesity? NO. Why, then, does the media focus on fast food? Because it is easy for them to do so. It is easy to use this 'shock factor' to make people interested. Imagine what happens when parents hear 'Burger King makes your children more likely to have heart attacks at age 30!'. Parents will be frightened. It works well. So, in a way, this is a smart technique used by the media.

BUT what makes it so foolish is that INFORMED CONSUMERS (which you should be by now, considering that you have read my blog and have heard all my rants about the media/body image/food!) know that this relationship between fast food and obesity is not a CAUSAL relationship. Remember that association does not mean causation. Yes, too much fat in the diet is associated with heart problems, but so is a diet that is too low in calories in fat (as an example, my heart was failing last year because I was eating so little). Too much cholesterol is associated with gallbladder problems, but so is too little fat. Too much calories can contribute to obesity, but too little calories can cause kidney failure and death as well (again, think back to my story last year).

What's the message? BE AWARE. Do not let the media or other 'professionals' convince you that fast food alone is what is causing the obesity epidemic. If that were the only reason, obesity would be easily solved by eliminating all fast food. But that is not the case, because we know that obesity is caused by many different inter-related factors. The media, sadly, is always looking for quick and easy ways to make money, and it does this by telling us that we need to stop eating McDonalds and Starbucks because they are making us all fat. Well, after reading this post, you are hopefully convinced that they are not correct in making this assumption! Next time you watch TV or hear an advertisement about obesity/fast food, really think about what you are watching. What is the message saying? Does it make it seem as though fast food/fat/oil is the cause of obesity? You will be surprised to see how common this is. Now, you are more aware. When I was sick, I failed to realize how much the media and health professionals dwell on this. Now, in recovery and more aware of these things, I have come to see that my lifestyle and health are related as a WHOLE. One burger will not suddenly make me obese. People who are overweight are not just overweight because they eat too much fast food. Again, it is about the person's lifestyle, as well as their genes, environment, etc. fast food BAD? I think I have made my answer pretty clear...what do you think?

Saturday, 23 November 2013

'Why you should date a girl with ED'

Unfortunately, there are still many people in our society that don't understand how serious and deadly eating disorders are. Very recently, this article appeared on the internet:

As a quick summary, the male author of this article claims that males should try to date a girl with an eating disorder (ED) because of the many 'advantages' this has for him. He gives five reasons for this: the girl wont be eating, so the man doesn't have to pay for her food. She is also probably rich since most girls who have ED are rich; thus, the man can get money off the girl. The author also mentions that  Oh, and she will be skinny, so you don't need to worry about being teased in public for being in a relationship with a 'fat girl'. Plus, she is insecure about her body, so she will always come to you looking for appreciation about her body...and if you give her a few compliments, she will agree to have sex with you.

DOES ANYONE ELSE SEE A HUGE PROBLEM HERE? I couldn't believe that someone had the audacity to write this article, and that it actually got posted n the internet. This is disgusting, horrible, untrue, and foolish. Firstly, if this man knew anything, he would know that ED is a mental illness and that his article is neither funny nor true. Secondly, is using someone's sickness to your advantage a wise and fair thing to do? If the female is ill with ED, is using this to have sex with her being loyal and honest? Is that all relationships are about - sex and money? The victim with an ED needs help, support, and love - not a foolish and egotistic man to use her as an object. And what about all the myths and wrong words in this article? Are ALL people with ED rich? No. Are they all thin? No. Do they all have such low confidence in themselves that they would easily sleep with any man who told them that they were not fat? No.

What does this article say about ED? That it is not a serious illness. That ED is, ultimately, a choice that females make because they want attention and simply want  a man in their lives. That someone with ED does not need treatment - that all she needs is to hear that she is not fat, and then all will be well. This article belittles that ED can kill any of his victims. The author makes ED seem like a glamorous choice that victims choose, and that using this to have sex with a girl is a perfectly normal and acceptable thing to do. This man is forgetting that ED is the number one killer among all mental illnesses; he is disregarding the fact that people with ED are in need of loving and genuine people in their lives. In effect, he is saying that all males should try to date a girl with ED because she is cheaper to please, easy to persuade into having sex, and likely rich at the same time.

Perhaps this author may say that his article was meant to be funny and that he meant no harm. But is this a joking matter? No. Would it be funny if I wrote an article about why you should date someone with cancer because chemotherapy would make them lose hair, so they would spend less on hairdressers? No. Would it be funny if I wrote about how you should date someone with depression because the person would be so sad all the time that you could easily convince them to sleep with you? No. Would it be entertaining if I wrote about how you should date someone who is blind because then they can't see what you are actually doing? No.

So, why are EDs any different? Maybe its because some people still don't understand that they are serious illnesses. Maybe its because this man is simply looking for attention and thought that this was funny. Or maybe its for both reasons, and even more. But whatever the case is, this article is unacceptable. It not only hurts those who are ill with ED, but also those who recovered and anyone who knows someone with/used to have ED. This article is false, useless, and disrespectful. I don't understand how anyone would have the nerve to write or even think of something like this. But sadly. this world is full of foolish people who are too stubborn to open their minds and learn about what is right and what is not. to be honest, I feel sorry for this author because he doesn't know how much damage he is doing to others. He doesn't understand EDs, nor does he know about what constitutes a healthy relationship. Is having a relationship with someone only about sex and money? Is that what true love is? Is love only about getting what you want from the other person and not helping them or supporting them with what they need? There are so many wrong things about this article. The only beneficial thing that comes out of this article is that it shows us how one distorted thought and the misconceptions about ED can be harmful and even deadly to others. Be informed, and don't make the mistakes that this foolish author did. Right now, he may not understand why his article is inappropriate and hurtful. But when he meets someone with ED and he sees their struggles, he will regret that he ever wrote such an awful thing. Or maybe he won't ever understand why his article is wrong. Whatever the case is, I feel sorry for him. He is misinformed, not funny, and inappropriate. He needs help, and he needs to get educated before he writes such detrimental and foolish things.

'Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails' (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8).

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

More ED and Mental Health Myths

I found this online and thought that it did a great job of busting some myths about eating disorders. It is worth reading - before suffering, I admit that I believed some of these myths. Sadly, society still has many misconceptions about eating disorders and this is why I work to raise awareness about this illness and mental health in general. I think this is a great fact sheet to look at and to question yourself about. For example, many people think that eating disorders are all about getting attention. Others think that ED only happens in Europeans and only in females. Take a look at these myths and what the truth is. Become informed and be aware! For more information or to see the picture in a greater size, you can visit

Before you read the picture, try asking yourself or someone you know these questions about ED and/or mental health, and see what the response is. Do you know the truth, or are they myths?

1) People choose to have eating disorders
2) It is easy to recover from ED
3) Recovery only means eating lots of food
4) Mental illnesses do not cause death
5) You always know when someone has ED or a mental illness
6) Only people with dysfunctional families get mental illnesses
7) You have to be a perfectionist to get an eating disorder
8) Recovery is never truly possible
9) Most healthcare professionals know how to help patients with ED
10) Mental health stigma no longer exists

Sunday, 17 November 2013

ED and Culture - is there a relationship?

I have already posted about how ED does not discriminate; indeed, ED can hit anyone of any culture, religion, background, ethnicity, or gender. However, many people have asked me to exapnd on this. So, here it is. I hope this helps!

First, I want to say that any medical provider who tells you that you do not or cannot have ED because you are of a certain culture is WRONG. Although data MIGHT show that ED is more prevalent in certain backgrounds (ex. Caucasian or Whites), this is for different reasons. One reason may be that in Canada and the USA, we have more awareness about ED and therefore diagnose more people with it. Also, our culture is open to talking about this. In my home country (Egypt), ED is fairly rare because not many know about it, and people do not discuss it. My parents never knew about ED until I started showing the signs of it. For some cultures, ED is not given enough attention because of how 'important' food is. For example, Egyptians LOVE food, and they always have food whenever people get together. To them, how could I, an Egyptian girl, have a sickness that makes me not like food and not eat? How could I not eat when all my family LOVED food? Was I crazy? Why was I being so stupid? It took a lot of time for my parents and family (and community) to understand that ED is a real, mental illness. It does not matter what culture you are from - it still is serious.

My point? Do not let someone say that you are stupid for having ED. They are unaware and need to be educated. In truth, it is not completely their fault. People do not know about ED because we do not really talk about it. Someone starving themselves to death does not get attention as much as other things, like depression or cancer. But YOU can change this. Learn and educate others. Visit websites and credible sources and know the facts. Then help others around you understand, too. It is only when my parents understood the facts about ED that they were able to see that I was seriously ill and not trying to kill myself - I was ill with a mental illness and I deserved care, gentleness, and help.

Now, let's talk about who ED hits the most. Again, we cannot really say. Data MIGHT show America as having the most cases, but as I discussed previously, this can be because of many factors. The truth of the matter is that no one culture is more prone to having ED than another. Yes, media can make things worse. And our attitudes about food and weight can wrosen things as well. But these are ENVIRONMENTAL factors. What this means is that these are things around us: our communities, the media, attitudes, etc. But perhaps ED is a mix (like all other illnesses) of genetics and environment? In other words, nurture vs. nature. Both play a role. I love posting information about how ED changes our hormones and neurotransmitters because this shows us how ED is a true illness on the biological level. I truly believe that my ED is a mix of enviornmental and biological factors.

I am going to post a link to a study that shows that ED is not related more strongly to one cutlure than another. It is kind of old, but it proves my point. Basically, this study shows that ED can happen anywhere - it is a mix of factors. While Western cultures may have more cases, this is largely a result of the mix of nature and nurture.

In summary, I want to say that ED is not related to your ethnicity. I have seen people of all sorts of backgrounds have ED. Yes, it may be harder to find in some cultures because of the lack of awareness, or because the typical attitude of that race may be different towards food, weight, and illnesses. My case is a perfect example: Egyptians love food, and here I was, an Egyptian girl, refusing to eat because I did not want to get fat. People did not understand how I was so foolish. But it is a real illness. It is when my parents and I learned about ED that we knew that this was not my fault. It was also not silly for an Arab girl to have this disease. Diseases do not choose between cultures. We do not choose ED. ED chooses us. Likewise, ED does not choose recovery. WE DO. So, if you need help, get it. Do not let someone tell you that you cannot have ED for any odd reason.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

'Fullness' cues?

I have talked a lot about hunger cues and how they can be really off in ED patients. It is not that patients are trying to lie that they are not hungry - it seems that the brain and body actually do not sense hunger in ED, But, what about 'fullness' cues? Do patients with ED, specifically AN, feel full? This something that I really struggle with. I definitely do not have good hunger cues, and this is why I need to eat by the clock. It does get annoying, to be honest. Imagine trying to eat when you do not feel hungry or do not have an appetite. It feels so...wrong, especially for someone who has/had ED. But now, think about the opposite side: feeling full. When I was sick, I had a great excuse for why I could never eat: I already felt full. In recovery, I felt this way as well. How could I be expected to eat when I still felt full from the last meal? How could I eat when I felt fell?  In later recovery. the problem remained: how could I continue to finish my meals when I felt full after taking a few bites?

Fullness cues are related to hunger cues: if you feel full, you do not feel hungry. If you feel hungry, you are not full and can still eat more. But with ED, the problem remains that foods needs to get in and the patient needs to eat. But how does this happen when the patient feels so full all the time? For example, I often feel full after taking a few bites of my meal. I look down on my plate to realize that I have only eaten half of my meal. Then, somewhere in my head, I realize that ED wants me to stop eating.

That's enough. You have already gained all the weight back, even more than you needed to. Why keep eating? You were not even hungry at the beginning, but you still ate. Now, why on earth should you continue to eat? You are full. Eating more makes you a pig. Come on Is it not bad enough that you have gained all the weight back? Do you want to become fat again, and go through it over again?!

What makes this hard to deal with is that inside, I really do feel full. It is not like in ED when I had not eaten anything. Now, in recovery, I HAVE eaten. But the thing is, I have not completed my meal. So, what to do? Inside I know that I did eat something. but at the same time, I know that it was not my entire meal. Was it enough? Sometimes I feel that I actually do not know what is enough! This makes it hard - I am trapped and have no idea what to do. If I keep eating, I will feel even MORE full and then I will get uncomfortable. But, if I do not eat, I will not have finished my meals, and how can I be sure that I am eating enough?!

It seems like a lose-lose situation. I hate feeling full - this time, it is real. I feel full of food. I have eaten. I am uncomfortable, and my jeans are getting tight. When this happens, I panic. I start to feel fat and ugly. But at the same time, I know that I cannot depend on my fullness cues - just like my hunger cues. With hunger cues, I can look at the clock and know when to eat next. But what do I do with fullness cues?

The solution, for me, is to simply eat. Yes, I may not feel hungry now. But if this is what I had planned to eat today and I am following a meal plan, this is likely what mu body needs to be well. On the other hand, if I have eaten something extra today and am REALLY feeling full, maybe it is okay to eat a bit less at this meal. But the important thing is that I ensure that I have truly eaten enough. It is frustrating, to be honest, to not be able to rely on my hunger OR fullness cues. But in the long run, I know that this is what my body needs. I may not like it, but I know that this is best for my health. Maybe my hunger and fullness cues will return to normal some day. Maybe they will not. But whatever happens, I have found a way to keep myself well. As long as I am healthy, life will move on and I will stay strong in my recovery. That is all that matters - I can wait for my cues to return some day. What matters is today: how strong and healthy I am, and how happy I am. Thank God, despite the messed up hunger signals and the stresses of life, I am doing well. Life is tough, but I am tougher.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Published AGAIN! NEDIC: Body awareness

So far, my work has been published three times by Fr. Anthony, and approximately 10 times by NEDIC. Let's not forget about the conference I gave, as well as the two radio interviews! I'm amazed at how God has blessed me - and thank you to all those who read this blog, comment, and share with others. Without all your support, I would not have become so strong and open to sharing my story. God bless you all - your love and kindness mean so much to me, and I am blessed to have all of you!

This post on NEDIC is about body awareness - remember how I spoke before on how we need to learn to love and/or accept our bodies? This is the focus for this post on NEDIC.

As a sneak peak, just remember that our bodies do amazing things for us. Sadly, society teaches us that we should only like our bodies if we are a certain weight or body size. But society is WRONG! Think about your life without a functioning leg, arm, brain. heart, stomach, etc. It is simply too hard! This is because we NEED our bodies; thus, we need to keep them healthy and strong. With ED, this task can be even harder than in those without ED. But taking the time to appreciate your body, as well as pamper it in any way, allows us to understand just how much we depend on our healthy and strong bodies.

So, check it out! And remember: loving your body doesn't mean that you fit into what society says is beautiful or attractive - it means learning to accept your body for YOU!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Published again! God's Plan for YOU

 I have more great news! My work has yet again been published by Fr. Anthony, this time on how God works wonders through our lives and experiences. Please take the time to read the post, and understand that you too have a plan in store for you - and that all things happen for a reason! Stay strong, and never give up. Life is tough, but you are tougher! You can read the published post here If you would like to, please leave a comment HERE and on my post at Fr. Anthony's blog.

So many times, we get caught up in this world and we have no idea why things are happening, why we aren't getting what we want, and why things are so tough. But sometimes, it takes some time to see what God is doing in your life. Tired? Frustrated? Angry? Sad? Stressed? Bored? Hopeless? Faithless? Powerless? These are emotions that we all have at one time or another. But what is important is that you DO NOT GIVE UP. Do not let things take a toll on you. Let not your experiences make you feel inferior or weak. Do not get fed up and feel that you have no purpose or use. God is here, and He knows what He is doing. Let go and let God. Stop trying to make sense of what you do not understand - and start praying and working hard. Do not lose hope when things are tough - no matter what you are experiencing. I am proof of this. I was dying in the ICU and I didn't give up. Everyone prayed for me. I wanted to die, and I didn't know why this was happening to me. But, God did. God kept me alive for a reason - and look at where I am today! At the time, I had no idea why I was experiencing so many hardships. But now, I see why. I see that my experiences have made a stronger and wiser person, and that without this, my blog would not have been created.

Please take the time to read the post on Fr. Anthony's website. And, when you have a chance, think about something in your life that made you question or fear. Look back at it now: I guarantee that it made you stronger, served a purpose, helped others, or taught you something. God has plan for YOU.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

AMAZING! Success!

I am so pleased to update you on the status of both my health and my blog. To start, I am maintaining my healthy weight and loving it! I look and feel beautiful (inside and out!) - and I am not affected by any talk of weight gain, food, or body sizes. I am eating enough and normally, and life is good! Recovery was the smartest thing I ever did - and the hardest. But as I am strong today, I can say that I am so pleased with my decision and commitment. What a huge accomplishment!

Now to my blog. I am overwhelmed and so proud to let you all know that my blog has been nominated for an award: Best Canadian Blog about Lifestyle, Health, and Inspiration/Advocacy ( What an amazing honour! I only started this blog about two years ago, and look at it now! I'm being nominated for awards and it is gaining so much attention! I have been doing radio interviews, which have become a huge hit, and I am constantly being asked to come back and do more interviews. Let's not forget as well the blog posts I write for NEDIC! In addition, my blog has readers from all over the world. After only a year and a bit, my blog has around 60, 000 views!

Also, my video on social media bullying was a HUGE success, and I got so much positive feedback on it. Everyone enjoyed the presentation and told me that they learned a lot from it. I was also recognized by the Police Committee in Brantford as being an activist for social justice! Furthermore, I have been invited by McMaster's School of Nursing to give presentations on mental health, community nursing, and more!

I am so amazed at how God has used all my experiences to help others, and He has made me stronger in the process. All of this would not be possible without the support of my family and friends, as well as those who read this blog. I am so thankful to all of you - for your love, kindness, and support. I am humbled by the amount of love you all show and the support that you provide. I am so much stronger and wiser now, and all of my experiences have made me the person who I am today. Because of all of you, God has blessed me and allowed me to become a stronger person and use my experiences to help all those around the world with mental health, healthy living, and more. I am so blessed!

THANK YOU to everyone! Can you believe how successful this blog has become? How far I have come? How this blog has made us all stronger and happier, wiser and more aware? What a blessing! May God continue to bless all of you, and may His love and peace continue to shower you all. I pray that this blog continues to touch and empower people, and that we all continue to learn and support one another! Look at this way: in 2011, I was dying in the ICU. Today, in 2013, I am healthy, strong, and wise. This blog has been nominated for awards, I have been doing interviews and presentations for Members of Parliament and more, I am a leading advocate for NEDIC, and my work has been published by so many organizations and people! Glory to God! SUCCESS!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

VIDEO: WATCH ME! Social Media, Mental Health, and Bullying

I'm still baffled about this: I was invited to give a presentation in Brantford about social media and bullying as well as mental health. I had been working on this presentation for many days, and it took me hours to prepare the presentation.

This topic is important to me because, if you remember, I was bullied about a year ago online. It was an honour to be able to share my experience with others and help professionals and the community understand what they can do intervene.

Today - on October 23, 2013 - I delivered the presentation to a group of teachers, parents, healthcare professionals, police officers, firefighters, Members of Parliament, and more. It was a wonderful experience and I really enjoyed it. And now, for the FIRST TIME EVER, I have recorded it for all of you to watch! It will be the first time most of you have ever seen me, so I hope I don't disappoint you! Please take the time to watch me present - I spent a lot of time preparing for it! Remember to comment and tell me what you think about my presentation and to share this with others!

Thanks for everyone's love, support, and kindness! I wouldn't be here if it were not for all the support and love of everyone in my life and on this blog. God bless all of you, and I pray that He continues to strengthen each of you (and me!). (Also, in the middle, the other speaker, Sarah, talks a bit, but don't stop watching because I come back after to finish the presentation - make sure you watch the entire thing! It is long but in my opinion, worth it!)

Now, enough of me babbling on and my presentation! And please do not forget to share it on your email, text messages, Facebook. Twitter, or whatever you use - we want this message and video to go viral! Help spread the word about social media, mental health, and bullying!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Goodbye, ED!

As requested, here is a letter to ED - but this time, about how he is no longer a place in my life. I hope this encourages those who suffer, or those who know victims of ED. If you do not struggle with ED, try switching 'ED' in this letter to whatever your problem is - school, stress, drugs, alcohol, an addiction, etc. It feels freeing to be able to stand up to your problem and take control!

You have plagued for me a long time, perhaps for about seven years. When I was ill, you made me believe that you could make things better. That not eating and starving would stop people from teasing me and from making rude comments about my body. You made me think that starvation would make me look thinner and thus stop people from hurting my feelings. And sadly, I listened. I feel into your trap and I become very sick. Over the course of seven years, I became your slave. I ate very little food and lost weight. But each time I lost weight, it was never enough. You wanted me to lose more and more, to eat less and less. I did. Until I got so sick that I needed medical attention. I was dying, but I was blinded by you. The pressure you put on me to lose weight and not eat was unbearable. Food became the enemy, and anyone who told me to eat was also an enemy. You made me lie to my loved ones, pretending that I ate or was not hungry. But inside, the pain was real. I was hungry, but I could not eat for fear that I would gain weight. It was hard for me to help people understand why I was struggling because it made no sense: why couldn't I simply 'eat'?! But people did not know, ED, how mean you were to me. If I thought of eating just one more thing, you would haunt me, telling me that I was terrible. You would remind me of how people used to tease me, and you threatened that eating would make this all come back.

I nearly lost my life because of you. I spent months in the hospital, too sick to do anything. My organs failed, my heart was weak, and I needed urgent care. I was in the ICU for about one month and a half, not aware of anything around me. Meanwhile, all who loved me suffered, not knowing if I would make it out alive. You probably were happy, ED, that I was dying. It would be one more victiory for you, another life that you would have claimed. Another girl who innocently wanted to lose weight and look better, gone because of your torture. I do not know how I survived. All I know is that the prayers of all my family and friends, along with God working through His powers and His people, got me through. I made it out of the ICU, all my organs working properly. But this made you angry. You could not leave me alone now that I had survived. You wanted to fight me more, to make me ill once again. Once I got out of the hospital, you continued to threaten that I would become fat. You made it so hard to eat, each time reminding me of how much weight I would gain.

But I pushed through. I did not let you take over my life once again. With the support and love of my family, friends, and God, I ate. I fed myself, looking at the clock to see when it was time to eat. I ate, regardless of how full and ill I felt. I chewed through every meal with your taunting voice telling me how weak and useless I was. I watched as the scale went up and as my body changed. I got rid of the old, smaller clothes with tears and hated that I was gaining weight and eating. But inside, I knew that I was doing the right thing. I knew that giving you one more chance could have killed me. So I kept fighting, trying very hard to ignore your teasing and demands. And I still am fighting. I am recovering day by day. Yes, ED, it is still hard. It is difficult to eat when I am not hungry, and it is hard to see that my body is getting bigger. It is uncomfortable for me to feel that I am bigger than before, and to see how much I eat. But when these feelings come, sometimes it helps to remember how much pain you caused me. I suffered for too long under your control. It is time that I take my life back, time to be free and live my life. Recovery is hard work, and you do not make it any easier. But the things in life that matter - my health, school, happiness, family, and my faith - are what keep me going. My life would have been over if I still listened to you. I cannot say that you are out of my life for good, because then I would be lying. But I AM saying that you no longer bother me like before. Yes, you call me fat and make me feel bad for eating and gaining weight. But that is all you can do to me now. You cannot make me lie about food, starve to death, or restrict what I eat. I am stronger now and I have learned all your evil and cunning ways.

Maybe I was lucky to have survived you, but others are not. I know that you still haunt the lives of many girls, boys, men, and women out there. For some, you make them believe that they are not 'sick enough' to get help. For others, you fight them so hard that they feel weak and cannot battle you. And sometimes, you do not have a person as a victim, so you make them feel fat and ugly so that you can make them fall. Well, ED, I have a message for you. These people are not alone! They have people who love them and who care. I pray that they may find hope and strength to get rid of you and recover. I know, of course, that you will always be here. You are, unfortunately, one of the most dangerous illnesses out there. In fact, you kill more people than any other mental illness. But, I also want you to know that recovery is possible. People CAN and DO and WILL get rid of you. Because you make our lives terrible. You plague us and make us feel worthless. And now, we are educated. We are unwilling to let you continue to take away our lives and those lives of whom we love. Together, with education, awareness, prayers, and strength, we will overcome you. If that means gaining weight and eating, then fine. If that means ignoring your harsh comments, we will do it. If that means standing up for ourselves, then we are prepared. Whatever it takes, recovery is possible. It is not easy, but that is because it is a battle. We are up for that challenge. We will succeed.

Saturday, 19 October 2013


Perhaps you have heard the latest news: a school in Toronto has banned children from brining 'junk food' to school for lunch or snack. Apparently, this is supposed to foster healthy eating habits and curtail the obesity rates that we are facing.

As a nurse, I completely understand why this is occurring. Obesity is on the rise. But, even as a nurse, I look at the MULTIPLE causes of why this is so. Is it simply because kids are eating 'junk food' at school? What exactly is junk food? This school defines it as chocolate, candy, chips. etc. Okay, I understand that these are problematic foods when eaten in excess. Perhaps banning them from school lunches will help reduce obesity. BUT, kids can still eat these foods at home or on the weekends. Also, what kind of message are we giving kids about these foods? Is IT JUNK? NO. No food is garbage. Yes, these snacks might be not so nutritious because they contain more calories and/or sugar and fats, but they are still okay to eat in moderation, Suppose a child really wants a chocolate bar but cannot eat it because she is at school. Will she go home and eat an apple instead? No. She will go home and eat the first chocolate bar she sees in sight. Theoretically speaking, this can even lead some children or teens to lean towards binge eating, when they eat so much in one siting because they have been deprived for so long.

Now, what kind of message are we teaching kids about healthy eating? That if you want to eat candy, you cannot eat it at school because you aren't allowed? That you cannot enjoy foods in moderation? Is this really the ONLY way to reduce obesity? What about other healthy ideas, such as having more exercise in the day at school? What about teaching children how to make healthy choices - as in, eat a chocolate bar only once in a while but choose other options like fresh fruits because they have more benefits for your health. Why can't we teach children to schools to enjoy things in moderation? Why do we need to ban the kids from bringing this food to school? To me, this ban is basically telling kids: you cannot eat candy at school because candy is bad and if you bring it school you will be told to bring it back home because it is not healthy and this will make you fat.

Can this lead to eating disorders? Certainly. It is already making foods seem bad. It is also encouraging children to hide the fact that they want to eat sweets. We don't need to pretend that obesity doesn't exist - I understand that this is a problem. But so are eating disorders. The solution to the obesity issue is NOT to stop kids from bringing these foods to school. The solution is to teach the kids HOW to make healthy choices and WHY this is important. The school should take time to HELP kids understand how MODERATION is essential for a healthy life - moderation in all things, not just food. Instead of banning and calling these things 'junk food', the school should MOTIVATE kids to enjoy a healthy lifestyle and balance of food, work, play, sweets, laughter, socialization, and learning. We cannot tackle the issue of obesity by simply eliminating junk food from schools because this isn't teaching kids HOW to make healthy DECISIONS. It also isn't helping kids because they can get candy from other places such as home. Also, kids might try to sneak these foods in - and what happens if they get caught trying to eat chips? Will they be singled out and labelled as being a 'pig'? Will the teacher have to talk to their parents? Will they, so to speak, get into TROUBLE for wanting to eat something?!

Personally, I love chocolate. And if someone told me that I couldn't eat it at school, I would be really angry. And I would try to sneak it into school. And if I got caught and people made fun of me, that would be very hurtful. Then I would simply eat lots of chocolate when I got home because I have been deprived of it all day at school. I would also do this on the weekends. So, has the school helped me learn about healthy eating? No. Quite the opposite - they have tried to solve one problem by creating a million more. Honestly, it is time that we stop listening to the 'experts' about how we need to cut out all sweets. We need to start thinking of where the problem is, and how we can tackle it without creating other issues. We need to think of the issue as a WHOLE and help TEACH people about healthy eating. The children at this school will never learn how to make healthy eating decisions if they are simply not allowed to bring sweets to school. My point? STOP trying to 'cure; obesity by fostering negative attitudes about food. START engaging children and society in habits that allow them to UNDERSTAND why and how to manage a BALANCED life.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Food and Mood

We have already discussed how patients with ED don't enjoy their food. They hate it. They will scream, shout, and do anything (really) to avoid food. Remember back when we mentioned dopamine and fullness and hunger cues? Well, that was related to hunger. But what about how we FEEL after we eat a MEAL? (Did you catch the rhyme I made there? Yes, I meant to do that!). Take a look at the picture for some information and a visual representation of the brain changes (some of them!) in anorexic patients.

Interestingly, research continues to show that patients with ED have a blunted response to food. Let me introduce you to the insula: a part of the brain that is associated with emotional responses to food. In a person without ED, food stimulates the insula and it 'lights up' on PET scans (this is like a scan of the brain that shows where there is activity, compared to where there is no activity). Even after a meal, the insula remains active because eating makes us feel good.

Guess what happens in ED? Yup! The insula is inactive. It either doesn't light up, or it isn't very active. Even after meals, studies show that the insula is still NOT active in patients with ED. We can use this to explain some symptoms or feelings in patients when they eat. First, patients hate eating. They find it to be stressful and not rewarding. Next, after they eat, they feel guilty, uncomfortable, and they want to scream or cry. This hypoactive insula seems to be causing some of these symptoms. (

Now what? Is there any hope for patients? This study actually found that some patients, even after recovery, did not have an active insula. First, however, consider that all patients are different. Maybe down the road, after more years in recovery. the insula will become active again. Or maybe it will not. In my personal experience, eating is...well, eating. I don't really think about it as being enjoyable, but I don't see it as being stressful anymore. It is something that I simply 'do', and then I move on. Sure, I do not get excited about eating like others do. Dessert does not make me happy like it does for others. But at the same time, I don't feel like screaming anymore after eating. Just to be clear of how far I have come, take a look at my blog sometime last year. I found this post:, where I spoke abut how I hate eating and that it is so stressful. After one year, I still don't feel hungry during meal times. BUT, I no longer feel stressed after eating. I have found ways to deal with these feelings.

So, does the insula ever get back to normal? My response is: does it really matter? I don't know what my insula is doing right now. Maybe it isn't active, and perhaps it doesn't plan on being active for the rest of my life. At this point, I don't really care. I am doing what I need to be doing to stay alive, healthy, and well. If my insula never feels evicted about eating, then fine. At least I am being strong enough to overcome that battle. at least I am eating and staying alive. Does this make recovery any easier? No. It makes it harder. But it also makes me stronger.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Aside from being a day off from school and work, this is a wonderful day to take some time to think of your blessings. We are often so busy during our normal lives that we stop to realize how much we have to be thankful for. I feel like this a lot. This week has, and will continue to be, very busy for me. I have so much going on, and my mood has been really off lately. I have been waking up angry, sad, frustrated, and stressed. So much to do, so little time, and so much pressure. But this weekend of thanks is just what I needed. (By the way, I LOVE Mickey Mouse and his gang - hence the adorable picture! I am obsessed with these characters!)

Sometimes, we can forget how much we have to be thankful for. Try taking just two minutes to think of everything you are thankful for. You'll be surprised at how much there is! Remember these things: others may not have them, or maybe they are important to you. Whatever you can think of, be thankful for it. If you can, write these things down. Then refer to them when you are down, tired, angry, sad, frustrated, or stressed. It won't fix all your problems, but it will certainly allow you to realize how much you have - and this can help you muster the strength to overcome your challenges.

Here is my list - although it is not complete. Which things that I wrote stood out to you? What are YOU thankful for?

-my family and friends
-my Church community and faith
-my intelligence and university education
-my home, clothes, car, and food (of course, food is something I now see as being necessary!)
-books to read, toys to play with (yes, I am still a child at heart!), my phone and computers
-money to buy what I need and want, even if sometimes I don't always get what I want right away
-having this blog and it becoming so famous in so little time
-the support of all my readers online and in person
-having people to support me and listen to my feelings, as well as people who really care about me
-feeling loved and important, even when I don't love myself
-living in a free country like Canada and not being persecuted for my faith, appearance, beliefs, etc.
-being healthy: I can see, taste, hear, write, read, talk, walk, carry things, dress myself, etc.
-waking up each morning
-nature and the beauty it brings to my life - naturally created artwork by God Almighty

....Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I am definitely thankful for all those who read this blog, comment, share it, support me, and spread the word! God bless all of you! Please take the time, even a few seconds, to be thankful for what you have. And enjoy this time with those who love you and care for you most, if possible. Breathe in and out slowly. And as you are doing this, think of one thing that you are really thankful for. How relaxing is that?!