Life

Hey all –

It’s been some time since I have posted. I used to be so much better about this. I don’t know, between working forty hours, going to night school, and still trying to have a social life, I guess my life has been kind of busy and things that I used to do very often have now become a rarity in my life. It saddens me but, I’m finding my way back. I used to be obsessed about just chilling, watching Netflix, and zoning out and by doing this I have stopped writing and reading, two things that have brought me much joy. I am however, working on incorporating those things back into my life.

Minimalism. I’ve been learning about it a lot lately. Watching YouTube videos about capsule wardrobes, downsizing, and purging, all filmed with a white wall in the background. Many of these people appear more calm, zen if you will. They express their ideas about how decluttering your surrounding can help declutter your mind. So with that being said, I’ve been decluttering mentally and physically. I’ve donated things upon things and have reused many items as well. It feels really freeing, especially dealing with a shopping problem. It means, progress to me and I like progress.

I’m sitting here on my floor at 9:43pm listening to jazz music and just enjoying life. It is moments like tonight that I appreciate and value all aspects of my life and I am grateful. The Universe has given me so much and some days I am just filled with all of this happiness and it just makes me appreciate life so much more.

Well, goodnight Friends. I’m glad to be writing again.

Talk to you soon.

3.3.16: resolutions, NEDA & happiness

I love March for many reasons, one being that this month Chris and I have been together for a whole year and it has been one of the greatest of my life! Also, March means the end of winter. Although I live in New England and we have gotten snow in March and April, I am really hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself because I am ready for spring, warmer weather, a nice breeze, and sunshine.

Going through some of my more recent posts I re-read my New Year’s resolutions and I wanted to give an update on that:

Have I been sweating more? Yes and no. I haven’t been as consistent as I would like but, I am finding new exercises that I really enjoy or rather, rediscovering exercises that I really like such as: taking outside walks, cycling, and the stair climber. Finding exercises you like to do is crucial for a healthy relationship with your mind, body and soul. I did however, cancel my gym membership because I have access to a free gym at work but, it does kind of stink that I don’t have a place to workout on the weekends or when I’m on vacation but, that’ll motivate me to get my ass outside more!

I also noted that I wanted to do more yoga well, during that time I was actually practicing almost everyday but, lately not so much. I’ve gone to some classes near my house but, I’ve really neglected my home practice. I was making a lot of progress with my flexibility and I was really excited about the results I was seeing however, I just am a lazy person a lot of the time I won’t lie! When I get home from work I just want to lay in my bed, read, make tea, and watch Netflix. It aggravates me that I am like this because yoga has been the biggest aid in my recovery and when I regularly practice I feel great! I just need to get my ass in gear and do it.

In regards to my resolution to read more: I am reading soooooooooooo much it is crazy and I love it. Reading more was a big resolution for me because I am TV kind of gal. Although I love to read, nothing beats watching some of my favorite shows after a long day but, I really have been on a roll with reading. I even have a Scribd subscription and get some library books on my Kindle Fire. I think in the past three months I have read about five books and I made a Goodreads account that you can find here  and you can add me as a friend and we can talk books.

I’m proud that I’ve actually stuck with a lot of my resolutions because typically I forget them all and never look back. 2016 has been really good to me so far and I am very very thankful. Happiness has never been this present in my whole entire life and I truly owe this happiness to my recovery. I never in a million years would’ve thought that I would be this comfortable and confident in the skin I am in. I won’t lie to you though, there are some days I really struggle, I want to lose weight, be skinnier and fitter, and change how I look but, I remind myself that changing the outside won’t change how I feel on the inside and if I am feeling a negative way about my body, there is something internal that I need to reflect on and I do.

This journey isn’t easy and there are many bumps in the road but, seeing as this week is National Eating Disorder Awareness week, I think it is important to reflect on where we started, where we are now, and how we cope when struggles arise in our recovery. I think for me, one of the biggest things I’ve been struggling with is just being my natural self. I love makeup and a good outfit because I feel empowered, confident, sexy, and just totally revolutionized whereas when I am wearing jeans and a sweatshirt with no makeup on – I definitely feel more self conscious and I’d like to work on that. So, I have decided not to wear makeup everyday and to start embracing my natural beauty. I think too, I’m not the best when it comes to skincare – I am very content with using a makeup wipe and hitting the pillow so, I think by doing this it’ll get me on a regular skin care regimen. Honest Beauty has free trials of their skincare products which range from dry to oily with balanced in between and it comes with a cleanser, moisturizer, and what they call a “beauty fluid” which has SPF 30 in it so, I have been trying that and I highly recommend it if you are looking for cruelty free and more natural skincare products. They feel very natural on my skin and I just ordered a full size bundle – if anyone would like an update on how my skin reacts to it in a month or so, just let me know!

It feels really good to be writing again, I’ve missed you guys! You all listen to my problems or successes and are always so supportive, thank you! So many things are happening that I just can’t believe that this is my life. I work full time and go to night school so, I’m a pretty busy person but, I’m finding a balance between work and play. Finding that special time for me and the people I love and this journey has just been so rewarding.

If you are dealing with an eating disorder and feel stuck – I just want you to know that there is a way out. That the light at the end of the tunnel will make itself known to you. You just need to trust that it will happen and it will. I know some days feel like they will never end – that the pain will never end but, it does. Talk to someone you feel comfortable with whether it be a significant other, family member, teacher, counselor, what have you – someone will be there to listen and help you towards your first steps of recovery because quite honestly, I believe that talking is the first step. Letting someone know what you are going through and opening yourself up is the hardest part in my opinion. You can even shoot me a message and I will be there to listen and give whatever advice that I can.

Thank you again to those of you who take the time to read my blogs, your support means the world to me.

I was on a podcast!

Hello hello!

Those of you who follow me on my social media wanted me to write about how I was recently featured on Paige Smather’s podcast called “Nutrition Matters Podcast”. You can listen to the episode here and leave a comment below of what your thoughts were when listening to it! I would appreciate anyone who takes the time to tune in as it is about an hour and fifteen minutes.

In the podcast Paige and I discuss my journey through dieting, restriction, binging, self hate, and body dysmorphia over the course of ten years. We focus on the main points of my recovery and where I am at now mentally and physically. I am honored that I was able to share my story on a podcast that delivers such a healthy and loving message. Paige’s podcast surrounds itself around true nutrition, body acceptance, and Intuitive Eating which are three topics that I love! Paige is sweet, intelligent, and really easy to talk to (you can hear it in the episode!).

My long time readers know my struggle with the dieting cycle and binge eating. I have documented many of my attempts to lose weight through the various diets I have tried and although it is sad to read those old posts of mine, I am also proud to be where I am at now and I am even more proud to share a much more vibrant and positive message.

Thank you again to those who have supported me the past few years and to those who have taken the time to listen to the podcast.

In case the link above doesn’t work, here is the direct link to the podcast: http://www.nutritionmatterspodcast.com/jess-palmers-story-from-dieting-and-bingeing-to-self-love-and-authenticity/ 

2.17.16

Hello all.

I haven’t written much since my last post, I guess I haven’t had any ideas of what to write. I don’t really know but, here goes nothing:

I’ve been reading a lot which has been awesome. Scribd has been a Godsend but, I guess starting mid March they are changing up their membership so, I may not be a customer for long.

I finished The Mortal Instruments series (which I LOVED!) and read Hush Hush (which I hated) and now I am trying to find my next series to get into. Something along the lines of a dystopian series but, Scribd kind of sucks when it comes to certain genres so, like I said, I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be a customer of theirs.

Life has been kind of boring but, good. I started school last month and have actually been staying on top of my homework which is great since I have a habit of forgetting assignments.

Chris and I go away to Portland, ME next month for our one year anniversary so, I am really looking forward to that. I guess really I’ve just been going with the flow, I haven’t been doing yoga really at all for awhile which has made me sad especially since before I was doing it regularly at my home or at a local studio. I definitely haven’t been sticking ot my resolutions besides reading but, who really sticks to their resolutions anyway? I would be genuinely surprised if at the end of 2016 someone told me that they did every one of their resolutions and if people do, that is awesome! I certainly am going to try but, I am not making any promises!

Sorry for the short post but, I wanted to check in with you guys seeing as it has been awhile.

 

2.1.16

Hello all, how are you? Happy February 1st, 2016.

I haven’t posted in awhile, I guess I’ve been MIA in a lot of aspects of my life especially my blog, probably because I have no idea what to do with it.

My blog has changed a lot over the past few years since I’ve had it and I’ve always wanted to have one focus whether it be fitness, body positivity, minimalism, yoga, or Buddhism, but, to be completely honest, I have no desire to have one focus when it comes to my blog.

If you are one of my loyal readers then you know I like to change my mind a lot and go through many different phases and interests. It is hard having ADD because, you find yourself being bogged down by different trends in society whether they be positive or negative and, having a blog means sharing those thoughts and ideas and as you know, I have many.

Going forward I am no longer going to tie my blog down to one specific topic. If I choose to write about x, y ,or z or all three then I will because that is my choice. Ever since starting my Intuitive Eating/mindfulness journey I have found that my life has changed in more ways than just my eating habits. I am doing things that make me feel fulfilled and happy whether it be reading, eating pizza, watching a documentary, or taking a walk outside. Practicing mindfulness has been a huge tool in my recovery when it comes to my eating disorder and dealing with my anxiety and depression.

I am so much more happier. Everything in my life just seems brighter and makes more sense. Ever since I let go of trying to please others and stopped following trends to find myself, everything seems to have fallen into place. Although new things arise each day, week, month and year, life is directing me and I am allowing it to guide me. You can’t predict the future and to waste your time and energy on trying to do so, you’re just going to bring yourself down. This is the most important lesson I have learned in my 22 years of life.

I’m glad to be back here blogging. Writing is such an important outlet for me and I’ve been really neglecting it. I still want to write a novel – one I’ve been planing to start for years but, I just can’t find that spark or idea to start it all. I’ve written down many story line ideas and none of them click. I feel like I have this roadblock in front of me and I just don’t see how to get past it.

I want to be passionate about writing again but, I am so impatient. It is hard for me to just write a little, put it down, then start it again the next day. I want it done right there and then and obviously, that could NEVER happen unless I took a week off of work and locked myself in my room but, I can’t do that to myself.

I guess this is where practicing mindfulness comes in and patience as a whole. I’ve been being more mindful of when I am not patient and it is becoming more clear that I have very little but, I’m working on it and that’s what counts. I am hopeful that I can start brainstorming again while practicing patience when it comes to my writing.

That is pretty much it. Not sure how to conclude this blog post but, I appreciate anyone who has taken the time to read this.

New Year’s Resolutions 

We all know this time of year very well. People start thinking of resolutions or goal for the new year to come.

For many, this goal is usually to lose weight. Gyms will start having their sign on specials, health websites will start having sales on supplement stacks, and fitness clothes will be all the new rage.

As for me, this has been my New Year’s Resolution as long as I can remember especially after a holiday season filled with so much food and pictures. Pictures that you see yourself in and think, “I just need to lose x amount of weight and I will be where I want to be, that picture is my motivation.”

I am going to tell you guys something very real about me. This morning, I went on Facebook and saw that my Mom had posted pictures from yesterday and saw myself in one. Mind you, I was wearing jeggings, an oversized sweater, and my hair was kind of messy (I sort of like it that way) but, when I looked at this photo I instantly thought, “I need to lose weight this coming year, I just can’t stand looking at myself in this picture.” After that thought had come and gone, I felt very disappointed in myself. Lately I have been working so hard on breaking away from “losing weight” mentality but, through this journey I have put my health on the back burner. Disclaimer: I do believe when breaking free from the dieting world it is essential to just let go and relax. If that means eating less nutritionally dense foods and skipping the gym, that is 100% okay! Some people need to do this to recover and this is what I did. However, due to this neglect when it came to my health these past few months, I have been extremely bloated and swollen due to the fact that I haven’t been getting hardly any fiber whatsoever and have really slacked on eating fruits and vegetables. I also haven’t been sweating out any of the toxins going into my body from eating some of these not-so nutritionally dense foods which at the time was okay (and still is of course!) but, I want to treat my body better.

So, here they are, my goals for 2016.

  • Eat more fiber: I need to get my digestive system back on track with proper health because I have Celiac Disease and if by chance I eat gluten, I need a healthy digestive system to help me get rid of it.
  • Sweat more: I don’t mean as in, “to count calories burned, etc..” but, so I can treat my body with respect and feel better mentally and physically, in the hopes that I can sleep better and wake up feeling more refreshed.
  • Do more yoga: I have been upping my yoga game a lot lately. I try to aim to do it at least two times a week but I would like to get to the 4-5 days a week seeing as the results have been incredible both mentally and physically and it has brought me so much happiness and peace.
  • Forgive myself more: You are your own worst critic in all aspects of life, especially if you are an ex-dieter you know this all too well. This year I really want to work on letting things go and not being so hard on myself all of the time. I need to remember that I am not a perfect human being because things happen, life throws obstacles in your way, and what counts is working to get past them, not beat yourself up about it.
  • Practice mindfulness: This is a huge goal of mine (also: none of these are in particular order) I am always rushing through life whether it be eating, driving, exploring, writing, and so many other things. I forget to appreciate the different sensations and my surroundings and I miss out. I want to see the world for what it is, I want to live in the present because the past is the past and the future hasn’t come yet.
  • Read more: This is my last goal but, I want to read more. Lately I have been making the effort to pick up a book rather than my Apple TV remote but, I want this effort to be much more significant in the new year.

It would be wrong of me to lie to you and say that losing weight didn’t cross my mind, of course it did! I’m an ex-dieter trying to find her way on this journey of self love and body acceptance but, I do want to treat my mind and body right because this is the only body I’ve got. I am happy that I have some goals not related to health because I find that this is an important step in diet recovery. When you have goals solely focused on health, it could appear that maybe subliminally your goals reflect the subconscious idea of losing weight and although those are not my intentions, I think it is important to point this out for those in diet recovery  trying to think of resolutions/goals for the new year.

When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, don’t think too much on it. Close your eyes, envision yourself lets say…six months from now, where do you want to be? What goals could get you to the point? And choose those as your goals. For example, by practicing mindfulness, by six months I hope to not eat so quickly and truly enjoy my food, and to also drive slower seeing as I have a very long commute to work I always tend to drive like a maniac and I would like to slow the pace down and enjoy the views even if it is snow. Having an image of what you want your life to be can really help when choosing these resolutions. Meditate on it, I promise that with some stillness and relaxation, these goals will come to you.

Photography, the studio, what happens next?

Hello my lovely readers,

Many of you have been following me since I started my blog back in 2013 and thank you. You have seen the highs and lows and the obstacles I’ve faced throughout the years. You have seen me fall in love, get my heart broken, and pick myself back up again, thank you.

Many of you leave comments of encouragement and have helped me in my darkest hours, thank you. You are all so supportive, words cannot describe the gratitude I have for you readers and my blog.

Back in 2014 when I was in Florence, Italy I discovered my love for photography. When I got home and started using my DSLR I was hooked. I took pictures of everything and I just wanted to learn and explore. Having that camera signified my life changing experiences in Italy and the possibility of all the new adventures I would go on whether they be international or in my own backyard. I learned different editing techniques in Lightroom and really started to flourish.

Fast forward to April 2015 when I got my art studio. What a monumental experience it was when I got the keys to my own little space of creativity. I was excited, nervous, and wasn’t sure what to expect what having an art studio would be like. I worked part time so I knew I would have the time but, shortly after getting my studio about three weeks later, I started working full time. The drive to my work is about an hour each way and I usually don’t get home till the evening, this made it harder for me to get to the studio as it is about thirty minutes away from where I live.

Not only was I not going during the week but not on the weekends either. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t motivated to go whatsoever even with having weekends off. When putting together my studio I started really digging into the business side of photography such as pricing and services and I started to feel overwhelmed.

So, I stopped going, still paying a bit of money every month for a place that I never went to. A place that was supposed to be a creative outlook for me but yet gave me anxiety. I couldn’t understand until literally yesterday at my therapy session why this was so. What it boiled down to was this: I thought it was expected of me to have this flourishing photography business, a successful business model where the money would be pouring in from my art. That I was supposed to be this artist who promoted my artwork and soon I found that I didn’t enjoy taking pictures or painting anymore. I felt like I had to fit in with the community of artists where my studio is (there are five floors of art studios with so many artists, it is quite inspiring!). I didn’t/don’t want this for myself. I did my time in retail and sales, and I hated it. I hate trying to sell sell sell when in reality, I just want to be passionate about my art, enjoy it, and have it help me heal.  I put this negative stigma on the studio because I felt that all of these outrageous things were expected from me when in reality they weren’t. It was my anxiety putting this doubt in my head, the fear of failure or disappointment. I also realized that there are no standards when it comes to art and that I can’t compare my art or talent to someone else’s because that would be outrageous.

So, I am going to make my studio a positive and healing place. A place that I can create beautiful art and enjoy my surroundings. No more anxiety, no more expectations, and no more business. Yes, that is right, I deleted my photography website, changed my FB page to “just for fun” rather than “professional services” because photography is a love and passion of mine and I don’t want that to change and I know that the minute it becomes a business, the enjoyment of it will disappear and put me back to where I was. I still have every intention of sharing my photos on my photography page on FB and what not, but I’m just not promoting a business because that doesn’t make me happy. The photography business world is not what makes me happy, and I need to do what has to be done to make myself happy and comfortable.

I feel really good about all of this, thank you all again for always supporting me.