My how time flies! I have officially been at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology as a Clinical Mental Counseling graduate student for nineteen months! I am currently embarking on my second, and last residency in Chicago, and there is finally a glimmer of practicing as a professional in the near future! Residency week is filled with intense emotions, anxiety, professionalism, networking, and constant skills practice; it is truly an amazing experience although it requires intense focus, staying in the present, and trust. The program is all about “trusting the process”, we are constantly told to “trust the process”, and this truly doesn’t make any sense until you are within the process. I feel that this concept is parallel to life, in that when we truly live within the here and now, we must learn how to trust the process, no matter what that process may bring us at that time, as that is what the process is! What if we went through life with only guidelines or the skeleton of a plan, truly lived within the present and ambitiously gave our full trust to the process of life? I wonder how this would look? Would we all find our
Category: Self-Care It Out
The Power of Patience
“We want things so badly – that job, that check, a relationship, a possession. We want our life to change…. We try to predict, circling dates on the calendar, asking questions…. we forget that we don’t hold the answers” – Melody Beattie Patience, this is a concept that many individuals struggle within our society. We live in a society that constantly craves the here and now, the immediate results, and instant gratification. We want, need and desire the concept of that quick fix, in that the media sends us messages that we can achieve results in one week or one day, we are flooded with before and after photos, and the concept of immediacy within every aspect of our life! How are we supposed to achieve self-care, self-love, and a safe level of health in a world that doesn’t allow the time to heal and take care of ourselves? How can we truly change and grow with this pressing mindset in the absence of time, quality and patience? We cannot grow, change, heal and achieve recovery within this quick fix world; therefore we must change our mindset and monitor our expectations, in that change and recovery does not occur within
Healthy Is The New Skinny – A Five Star Book Review!
Healthy Is the New Skinny started out as a blog, website, and forum for women of all shapes, sizes, ages, and demographics, who were in need of a new message that challenged the common conception that women need to be small in order to achieve success and happiness. The blog, turned into a brand, Instagram movement, clothing line, and now book! Katie H. Willcox provides a fresh perspective into the world of size shaming, consumer America, and the finding happiness within our lives dependent of our shape, or weight! As a growing blog, and brand focused on body positivity, self-love, self-care and Eating Disorder Recovery, as well as, a developing Clinical Mental Health Counselor, I can proudly say that Healthy Is the New Skinny is a book worth reading! It is a safe and helpful read for ALL individuals, in that Katie has created a strong piece of work that is clearly based on research and awareness towards true self-love within a “picture perfect world”. We live in a world filled with filters, hash tags, likes, Photoshop, and fabrication, therefore books like Healthy Is the New Skinny are necessary and crucial within our journey towards a world filled with honesty,
The Awareness Doesn’t Stop Here!
National Eating Disorder Awarness Week is coming to an end, but the awareness does not stop here! I got this tattoo almost three years ago, this tattoo represents, strength, beauty, self love, self worth, and recovery! After living with an Eating Disorder the majority of my young life, I can now say I am recovered! Full Recovery IS POSSIBLE, but it takes hard work, dedication, and desire to grow and change! It was the most difficult and trying journey, but oh my goodness was it worth it! Let’s continue to spread awareness, truth and education about ED Recovery! Below are three truths within ED Recovery, that I will touch upon throughout my future posts!
Self Love, Short and Sweet
Here is my professional and personal take on self-love, I’ll make this short and sweet! Self love is a new concept to many, in that it is not something that we were taught about in school, it is not something that was drilled into our minds much like math, science, and geography, instead it is a concept that is incredibly foreign to us. Why is this? Why is such an important and crucial concept so new to us within our adult years? I don’t quite have the answer to this, because the lack of self-love has fostered a world of negativity, hatred, illness, and self-loathing. In a world filled with selfies, hash tags and filters, it can be easy to view self love as selfishness, narcissism, and fabrication…. and yes, this does exist, but this is not self love. Self-love is appreciating the person that you are, accepting yourself for your flaws, loving yourself for the good and the bad, loving the black and white while also embracing the grey! Self love is loving yourself, for yourself, not for someone else’s gratification, not doing it for likes on Instagram and Facebook, not doing it for followers, or social acceptance,
Why We Workout
As discussed many of times within this blog, exercise can be a sticky situation within ED recovery. Exercise is a beautiful thing, but only when practiced in a healthy and safe fashion, with good intentions. I used to work out to achieve a certain ideal, to look a certain way, to find a bit of self-acceptance in my reflection. I used to work out to sweat until I deserved that pizza, to push myself so hard that I was too exhausted to eat. I used to work out for what I thought was self-love, but in reality it wasn’t self-love, it was self-loathing, ring any bells?! We say that we work out and exercise for self care and self love, but are we really doing just that? Or are we using this as an excuse to fit a mold, to fit an ideal? How many times have you heard, I worked out today, so I deserve that cookie, or I ran five miles, so I can go out to eat now. Or how about, I was so good today, I went to the gym, or I’ve been so bad I haven’t worked out so I can’t eat that. What is
Five Ways to Celebrate Recovery!
In honor of Eating Disorder Awareness week below is a handful of ways to recognize and celebrate your own recovery, as well as, spread awareness! Your recovery hero is first and foremost yourself, which is a beautiful achievement, but there are also other heroes within our life that helped us through our eating disorders, were the catalyst to recovery, or maybe just influenced self-awareness. Whether your recovery hero knows about their impact on you and your recovery or not, take the time to acknowledge them! Celebrate your hero! This can be intimidating at first so here are some ideas on ways to acknowledge that special someone in your recovery journey! -Make a picture collage and post it on social media, send it to them, or frame it as a gift! -Make a playlist that embodies the spirit behind your recovery journey -Write a letter to your recovery hero and send it in the mail or read it to them out loud! -Treat your recovery hero to an afternoon with you, show them love, respect and appreciation through vulnerability and friendship! -Give your hero a hug, and just say thank you! Social media, in particular Facebook and Instagram can be incredibly
Turkey Day Tips
Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and along with the busy schedules, family gatherings, and holiday celebrations, comes copious amounts of food, and with that, feelings of vulnerability and maybe even fear. Thanksgiving can be a wonderful time, but it can also be incredibly triggering and overwhelming for individuals living within their eating disorder or individuals within recovery. Here are some quick tips to get you ready for Turkey Day and all of the joy and spirit that comes with it! Prepare for Re-entry by managing your expectations…..click here to read more! Set yourself up for success! You don’t HAVE to abide by all of the cultural traditions and odd rules that come with “giving thanks.” In other words, try to look at this holiday as any other day, in that you don’t HAVE to eat copious amounts of food in order to celebrate properly! You don’t HAVE to partake in the somewhat twisted traditions like running in a marathon or “turkey trot”, in order to “earn” your meal. You don’t HAVE to starve yourself all day in order to “indulgence” in dinner. Instead, you can go about your day as you usually would, listen to your body, eat when
An Honest Look At Body Image Within Eating Disorder Recovery – Series pt. 1
Body Image. This is a tough one….I have said it before, and I will say it again and again….positive body image ALMOST ALWAYS comes last within recovery. Loving what you see in the mirror, appreciating your size, your weight, your natural curves, and appreciating all of the beautiful flaws within your physical image is so much harder than it seems. So many individual’s struggle with this aspect of recovery….in that the mind can get away from us at times, and we start to become emotionally and sometimes physically consumed by the unrealistic perceptions we have about how we currently “see” ourself, how we want to “see” ourself, how we “see” other’s in comparison to ourself, and how we believe other’s “see” us. Yep, it sounds exhausting, and maybe even ridiculous, but this is the mind of someone within recovery. I use these words carefully, in that when I say “see ourself”, or how “we see others”, I mean this literally, because that is what we are doing, I do not mean how we look or who we are, instead I mean how we perceive ourself. At times it seems that the physical self is somewhat dissociated from the emotional
Spread the Love
Today is a confusing day for several, a hopeless day for some, a victory for several, and a tumultuous day for all. Our country is divided right now, more so than ever. I spoke with Sean, my family, friends and loved ones this morning, and I heard so much sadness, hopelessness and fear in their words, this was scary….our sadness is provoking a feeling of fear, or vice versa, and with fear comes hate, and hate solves nothing. So let’s spread the love today, all day, everyday. Shake off that fear, and bring hope to yourself, your loved ones, and just any random person on the street, because that is the only thing that will get us through this tumultuous time. We may not all agree with each other, but love is something I truly believe our country is capable of, we are TOO GOOD for hate, we have gotten through so much to go back to hateful behavior. So if you are feeling vulnerable, sad, angry, happy, thrilled, scared, hopeful or hopeless, know that you are loved, and that love is the only thing that will bring you and others happiness. Practice self-love, as self-love is what self-care is