Have hope, chase joy, embrace life – recovery is possible.

Posts tagged ‘Facebook’

A Little Bit Of Encouragement…

You are SO AMAZING!
Don’t slink into the background. Don’t hide yourself away.
You are BEAUTIFUL! FABULOUS! MAGNIFICENT!
Show the world your beauty. Glow. Sparkle. Shine.
Let your colours show. Even the darker ones. Even the ones you don’t like. Even the ones that others don’t like.
You are a rainbow. And everyone loves rainbows 😉

(more…)

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Spring Has Sprung!

Spring has sprung here in Australia, & lifeinfullcolour is out of hibernation! Yay! 🙂


(Image via: we♥it.)

A lot has happened in my life this past season.
I started, then withdrew from a university course.
I started & ended a relationship.
I moved house (& months later, am yet to really unpack).
I started attending church, & discovered a beautiful new life of freedom & abundance in Christ.
And i have been blessed with opportunities to support, uplift, & encourage, & to really live my motto here at lifeinfullcolour – ‘Have hope, chase joy, embrace life – recovery is possible’.

Life has been busy &, as always, up & down. But above all, it has been beautiful – much like this glorious Spring day! 🙂

(Image via: we♥it.)

I have missed blogging incredibly, & i can’t wait to get back into it. More than anything though, i look forward to reconnecting with each of you, lifting you up, encouraging you, & sharing our journeys 🙂
That being said, it may take me a little while to settle back into blogging…. In the meantime though, be sure to ‘Like’ Lifeinfullcolour on facebook for splashes of colour, inspiration & encouragement, & updates on new posts 🙂

Until next time my lovelies 🙂
Have a beautiful day!

Day 6: A Continuing Exploration Of Health At Every Size

First of all, an apology to those of you who have been hanging out for this final post in lifeinfullcolour’s 6-Day Exploration of Health At Every Size (HAES) – i have been away for the past few days, & unfortunately didn’t have time to write up this post before i left.

Thankyou for being so patient! 🙂

If you are just joining us now, you might also like to go back & try the challenges from my previous posts in this series:

These posts were intended to give you a small taste of what life might be like if you ditched the deprivation & guilt that comes from a dieting approach to health & beauty. It was my hope to give you a taste of the alternative – a non-dieting, health at every size approach, which honours your body’s internal wisdom, & nourishes not only your body, but also your heart & soul. I wanted to remind you that you are worth looking after – you are deserving of your own kindness, love, & respect.

There is so much more out there to discover & learn about ‘Health At Every Size‘, & today’s post is about encouraging you & sharing a few simple ways that you might like to continue exploring the idea of HAES 🙂

A really great place to start learning more about a Health At Every Size approach & exploring what that could look like for you, is following blogs that encourage a non-dieting, self-nourishing approach to health. Sites that help you to dissect the messages you receive in the media & elsewhere about what it means to be healthy or beautiful, & give you an alternative perspective or course of action. Sites that remind you that you CAN be happy, & you CAN be healthy, no matter what your jeans size, & give you the encouragement & support you need to believe it.

Two of my favourite blogs, & two that you simply must explore, are Beautiful You, & Dances With Fat. Each of these blogs have really helped me to dissect the messages i had been recieving about my beauty & worth & helped me to unhinge these from my size & shape, realising that they are in fact two separate things & that my beauty & worth is not dependant of my size or shape.

Beautiful You taught me that i am worthy of love, respect, & self-care, right now. Exactly as i am. No exceptions – & certainly not an exception based on my body size! Dances With Fat taught me that it IS possible to be fat AND healthy, but more importantly, that being fat is not a reason to give up your life to dieting – you can live a beautiful & rich lifeinfullcolour WHATEVER size you are! 🙂

There are SO many other wonderful blogs out there though, & i encourage you to seek them out. A great starting point is to check out Medicinal Marzipan‘s list of Body Image Warriors, & Nourishing The Soul‘s list of Nourishing Blogs. Also, keep an eye out on lifeinfullcolour’s Facebook page for shout-outs & links to other great pages 🙂

If you are interested in learning more about intuitive eating, & perhaps starting your own journey towards normal eating, it’s really important to have support, & there is no better place to find that it than from a qualified dietitian. If you are in Australia, try the Dietitians Association Of Australia, or if you are in America, The American Dietetics Association.

Experiment with different foods. Rediscover old favourites. Make time to cook. Share a meal with friends. Go out for dinner at your favourite restaurant. Try a new restaurant. Notice the different textures of foods. Notice the different flavours. Eat by candlelight. Eat in the sunshine. Eat what makes you happy. Listen to your body. Eat what makes IT happy. Stop being so angry with pizza. Stop being so angry with yourself. Forgive. Enjoy 🙂

If you want to find joy in movement, forget what you’ve been told about “exercise”, & think outside the box. Think back to when you were a kid – play. Explore different ways of moving your body. Try rock climbing, soccer, hula-hooping – run off & join the circus! Dance, swim, bounce on a trampoline. Try yoga. Do somersaults. Cartwheel. Walk, skip, jump, & twirl. Swing, slide, or climb trees. Move because it is fun. Move because it makes you feel strong. Give up the torturcise. Explore & discover what makes YOU happy! 🙂

Remember –

And most importantly?
Remember that you CAN be happy, AND healthy, at any size! 🙂

Thankyou all for joining me this past week – it really has been wonderful to have you here 🙂 I hope you have found some enjoyment & value in my challenges this week, & i hope you they have been helpful in giving you a small taste of what it would be like to ditch the deprivation & guilt, & begin to nourish your body & mind. If you would like to share your thoughts with me on any of these challenges (or on anything else!) feel feel to drop by & leave a comment on lifeinfullcolour’s Facebook page, or shoot me an email 🙂

Have a beautiful, glorious day 🙂

Day 4: Self-Acceptance

Welcome to Day 4 of lifeinfullcolour’s 6-Day Exploration of Health At Every Size (HAES) :)

Today’s theme is Self-Acceptance, but if you are just joining us now, you might like to go back & try my Self-Care Challenge from Day 1,  Joyful Movement Challenge from Day 2, or my Intuitive Eating Challenge from Day 3 🙂

(Image via: We ♥ it.)

In Day 1: Self-Care, i recalled the times when i had neglected my own needs in favour of taking care of others. What i was really conveying through that behaviour, was a belief i had that the needs of others were more important than my own – i didn’t feel that i deserved the same love & care that i was giving to others. I never felt deserving, because i never felt “good enough”. I was constantly striving to be better, more “perfect” – i felt i had to “earn” self-love & the love of others.

“You are not good enough” was a message that permeated my life, & i spent so many years trying to become “good enough”. I studied things i had no interest in because “i should”. I tried to get top marks because anything less was “not good enough”. I tried to change my appearance because there was always someone telling me i could look “better”. Can you relate to any of these things?


(Image via: We ♥ it.)

In all those years of trying to become “good enough”, it never occurred to me that i had the power to change what “good enough” meant. It never occurred to me that i could just stop & say to myself “Hey, you know what? You ARE good enough – who you are right now is good enough. You don’t need to change a thing to earn that.” It wasn’t until a year or two ago, that i realised the power of self-acceptance – “I might not fit everyone else’s definition of “good enough”, but that is okay. I am okay.”

To me, self-acceptance isn’t so much about accepting the way you look, as it is about accepting yourself as a person. I found that once i had learnt to accept & love myself as a person, it was a very natural progression to accepting my body. Once i realised what an amazing human being i am – & that i am worthy of acceptance & love exactly as i am right now – i stopped wanting to change myself, & that included changing my appearance. I realised that i don’t need to be flawless in order to be loved, & that it is entirely possible to love & accept who you are without loving your appearance.

The funny thing is, once i learnt to love myself as a person, once i stopped being so afraid of showing my true self, my true beauty was revealed to myself & the world – once i had learnt to love myself, i learnt to respect myself, & that was reflected in how i looked after my own body. Instead of looking at a pretty new dress & thinking “I don’t deserve it” or “I’m not thin enough/pretty enough/good enough to wear that”, i began to think “I’m worth it” instead. As Medicinal Marzipan says in her brilliant post “Thoughts On Being A “Pretty Fat Girl”“:

People will be attracted to you if you love yourself. That is a fact. And it often has very little to do with your actual weight. Because when you love yourself: you stand differently, you smile like you mean it, you extend kindness and warmth because you can see outside of your little shell of pain, and you dress in a way that is both comfortable and flattering instead of trying to hide your body away or make it something that it’s not.

And it’s really not about having a pretty face. It’s about having a compassionate and loving heart, and teaching yourself to accept your perceived flaws and make the absolute best out of every moment.

My challenge for you today is to explore your magnificence. Yep, you heard me – YOU are MAGNIFICENT 🙂

While self-acceptance is not just about accepting the parts of ourselves that we do like, it can be a good place to start. When we are caught up in thoughts like “I’m not good enough” or “I don’t deserve this”, it is easy for us to forget what it is we do like about ourselves, & to forget that we contain any wonder or magnificence at all.

Day 4 – Self-Acceptance:
Get your pens & paper out for today’s challenge, because it is list time! 🙂

  1. I am awesome because…
    Write a list of things you like about who you are as a person.
    Perhaps it is your compassion or kind heart, perhaps it is your quirky sense of humour, or perhaps your generosity & goodwill.
    Perhaps it is something entirely different! 🙂
  2. My body is awesome because…
    What do you like about your body?
    I like my quirky wayward eyebrow, & my pudgy little tummy.
    Perhaps you like the colour of your skin, or a special birth mark.
  3. I am good at…
    Instead of focusing on what you “can’t” do, or what you find challenging, focus on what you can do – each & every one of us has our own special talents 🙂
  4. I am learning to…
    What are you learning about yourself & the world around you?
    How are you growing & changing?
    Perhaps you are learning to play a new instrument, or perhaps you are learning something more intangible – to live a lifeinfullcolour perhaps? 😉

Aim for a minimum of 5 answers in each category, but feel free to write 50 if you’d like to! 🙂
And try not to beat yourself up too much if 5 seems difficult – many of us have been so conditioned to believe that we are not “good enough” that it can be difficult to see past that to our talents & beauty. But if you give this challenge a go anyway, that gives you some other things to add to your talent list – determination & bravery! 🙂

Try to keep your focus on these things throughout the day 🙂

Perhaps for an extra challenge (i know, i’m tough – aren’t i? :P), you might like to try practising some positivity – after all, there is no better way to change an “I’m not good enough” into an “I am awesome – just as i am” 🙂 (Which, you are – just so you know ;))

Be sure to pop on over to lifeinfullcolour’s Facebook page today – & prepare yourself for a bombardment of posts inspiring self-acceptance & self-love! 🙂 And please feel free to share with me there, or here on the blog how you have found today’s Self-Acceptance Challenge – i’d love to hear about your experiences! :)

Day 3: Intutitive Eating

Welcome to Day 3 of lifeinfullcolour’s 6-Day Exploration of Health At Every Size (HAES) :)

Today’s theme is Intuitive Eating, but if you are just joining us now, you might like to go back & try my Self-Care Challenge from Day 1, or my Joyful Movement Challenge from Day 2 :)

When i was very entrenched in my eating disorder, it was clear that i was not eating intuitively – my body & mind were starving, but i continued to ignore any signals of hunger. Other times, i would ignore my body’s signals of fullness. When i entered treatment, & began my journey to normal eating, it was of course extremely difficult, but that difficulty was made worse by the fact that by that stage, i was completely unaware of what it was like to feel hungry, & what it was like to feel full. After ignoring those hunger signals for so long, i could no longer recognise them. The simple message of “eat when you are hungry, & stop when you are full” was impossible for me, because i didn’t know what hungry or full was. And so i relied on a meal plan for quite a while, until those hunger signals returned to my awareness.

You don’t need to have suffered an eating disorder to have a complicated relationship with food & eating, or to be confused about whether you are hungry or not. Messages you may have received as a child, such as “eat everything on your plate”, can conflict with the dieting mentality of our adult world. With so many mixed messages around what we should or shouldn’t eat, how much, how frequently, it is no wonder that we feel confused!

Do any of these statements ring true for you?

  • I always “clean my plate”, eating whatever is on it, even if i am not hungry
  • I sometimes feel hungry, but don’t allow myself to eat because it not breakfast/lunchtime/dinnertime yet
  • I try to restrict my eating, & often feel hungry, but i try & use my “willpower” to ignore those signals
  • I sometimes eat beyond my hunger, & keep eating, even though i feel very uncomfortable
  • I avoid eating foods i really love, because they are “bad”, “fattening” or “unhealthy”
  • I sometimes binge on the foods i love, because i don’t let myself eat them very often
  • I find the message “eat when you are hungry, & stop when you are full” to be a real challenge
  • I often feel guilty about eating

What is “Intuitive Eating”?

Intuitive eating looks much the same as “normal eating“. It teaches you how to create a healthy relationship with food & eating, by encouraging you to trust in your own body’s wisdom. It teaches you to distinguish between physical & emotional hunger, & to make food choices that honour yourself & your body’s needs.

Intuitive eating helped free me from a fear of food. Most people who meet me now, would have no idea that i have struggled with an eating disorder, that i would cry over dinner, or could take 3 hours to eat an apple (yep – that actually happened once!). I am now able to recognise my hunger & satiety (fullness) signals, & i am able to trust in my body to look after my health & maintain my weight. I have a freedom around food that i never thought possible, but it took a lot of hard work to get here.

Intuitive eating can be really difficult, or even scary, but it IS possible to find peace in food & eating. If you are interested in learning more about intuitive eating, & perhaps starting your own journey towards normal eating, it’s really important to have support, & there is no better place to find that it than from a qualified dietician. If you are in Australia, try the Dietitians Association Of Australia, or if you are in America, The American Dietetics Association.


(Image via: StumbleUpon)

Because i am not a qualified dietitian, i am not going to encourage or challenge anyone to change their way of eating. Instead, my challenge for you today, is to try & reconnect with your hunger & satiety signals.

Day 3 – Intuitive Eating:

  1. Notice
    Throughout the day, try to notice what your body is telling you about how hungry or full you feel
  2. Guage
    Using the hunger scale below, see if you can work out where you hunger fits on the scale

     

    • 10 – Stuffed – nauseous, ill, cannot eat any more
    • 9 – Very Uncomfortable – tired, bloated, may need to loosen clothes
    • 8 – Uncomfortably Full – feel you have eaten too much
    • 7 – Full – cannot comfortably eat any more
    • 6 – Comfortable – not hungry, not full – satisfied, but could “squeeze in” a little more
    • 5 – Slightly Hungry – begin to notice hunger, thinking about eating
    • 4 – Hungry – ready to eat
    • 3 – Very Hungry – stomach is rumbling
    • 2 – Extremely Hungry – irritable, unable to concentrate
    • 1 – Starving – weak, light-headed

Today’s challenge is all about exploration & awareness – try not to have any judgements around where you fit on the hunger & fullness scale at any given moment. Instead try to approach this challenge with a sense of curiosity & exploration, & remember this is not about changing how you eat, but about simply noticing your body’s experience. If you find this challenge particularly difficult, please seek out support.

Be sure to pop on over to lifeinfullcolour’s Facebook page today, where our theme of Intuitive Eating will be permeating my posts. And please feel free to share with me there, or here on the blog how you have found today’s Intuitive Eating Challenge – i’d love to hear about your experiences! :)

(Unless specified, Images via: We ♥ it.)

Day 2: Joyful Movement

Welcome to Day 2 of lifeinfullcolour’s 6-Day Exploration of Health At Every Size (HAES) 🙂

So lovely to see so many new names visiting my blog & the lifeinfullcolour Facebook page – it’s great to have you along on this adventure 🙂 Today’s theme is Joyful Movement, but if you are just joining us, feel free to go back & try my Self-Care Challenge from Day 1 🙂

I have always loved moving my body, & especially like “outdoorsy” type activities.  I love hiking, kayaking, cycyling, running, & going to the beach. I like team sports like netball or cricket (on a social level), & i love all kinds of dancing. Kickboxing is also really fun 🙂

When i first began struggling with an eating disorder, i was still engaged in these activities, though my motivation & focus began to shift – instead of exercising for enjoyment, i began to exercise for weightloss. Instead of long peaceful bike rides around the park, where i would enjoy observing the people & the trees, & breathing in the clear air around me, i began to ride laps, around & around & around the block, oblivious to the world around me, & focused soley on how long & how far i could push myself to burn more calories. Instead of running to clear my head, & observe the power & strength in my legs & the sound of my feet on the pavement, i began to run as a punishment for “being fat” or “eating too much”.

As my illness progressed i eventually gave up all of those “outdoorsy” activities that i had loved so much, in favour of daily workouts in the gym, where i could time my workouts, & monitor how many calories i was burning – there were no pleasant distractions there to break my focus on ‘thin’. Exercise had become a compulsion, rather than a joyful pastime, & i exercised through both illness & injury. Exercise had become “torturcise”*.

The sad truth is, that you don’t need to be struggling with an eating disorder in order to have an awkward & conflicted relationship with exercise.

It is incredibly rare to hear any sort of talk about exercise, without hearing talk of weight-loss. This focus on exercise for weight-loss shifts our focus, & turns the movement of our bodies away from pleasure, & toward the path of tortucise. TV shows like The Biggest Loser (oh how i despise that show!), as well as more general advertising for gyms & exercise equipment, tell us we “should” exercise, & promote a “no pain, no gain” approach that focuses solely on weight-loss, rather than total body health & vitality. There is certainly no talk from them about exercise for enjoyment, & with a “no pain, no gain” message & images of people huffing & puffing, & slogging it away in gyms, is it really any wonder that so many of us dread exercise?


(Me, at a playground in Melbourne in 2009)

As a child, i was never concerned with “exercise” – i don’t even recall using the term! To me, those sorts of activities – riding my bike, going swimming – were simply “play”. I loved going to the park & swinging on the swings, i loved climbing trees, & not once did it cross my mind that “i have to do this” – i did these things because they were FUN.

Do YOU remember what it felt like to play?

Day 2 – Joyful Movement:

My challenge to you today, is to PLAY! 🙂

  1. Remember
    Think back to when you were a child – what was your favourite outdoor play activity?
    Did you like climbing trees?
    Swinging or sliding at the park?
    Did you like playing tag?
    What about going to the beach?
  2. Connect
    Try to connect with the feelings you had while you were engaged in those activities.
    Did you feel excitement?
    Did you feel joy?
    If so, you have found your play activity for the day!
  3. Make time to play! 🙂
    If your joyful play activity was climbing trees, your challenge is to go exploring – seek out the best climbing tree you can find, & climb it! 🙂
    If your joyful play activity was swinging or sliding, find a playground with some lovely big swings, or a long twisty slide, & have a go! 🙂
    Find some friends to play tag with, or if you have children in your life, play with them! Share your playful joy 🙂
  4. Remember – there is no age limit on play.
    Despite what society might tell us about needing to “grow up” & “be an adult”, play can be an enjoyable & health-promoting activity for everyone – of any age! So get out there & have some fun! 🙂

Be sure to pop on over to lifeinfullcolour’s Facebook page today, where our theme of Joyful Movement will be permeating my posts. And please feel free to share with me there, or here on the blog how you have found today’s Joyful Movement Challenge – i’d love to hear about your experiences! 🙂

(Images via: We ♥ it.)

*The word “torturcise” was used in the book ‘Biting The Hand That Starves You – Inspiring Resistance To Anorexia/Bulimia‘ in reference to compulsive exercise.

Day 1: Self-Care

What better day than a Self-Love Sunday to kick off this exploration of self-care! 🙂


(Image via: Jen Lemen.)

For the first 20-something years of my life, i confused self-care with selfishness.

I had always felt such a deep need to be of service to people. Being an empath, i have always felt the pain of others as strongly as if it were my own, & in my deep desire to see people freed from that pain, i took on the role of counsellor, nurse, or whatever else that was needed of me to see them through their struggle. And while empathy & compassion are beautiful gifts, & caring for others a noble action, i found myself feeling drained – both physically & mentally. In my taking care of others, i was neglecting to take care of myself.

I was emotionally exhausted, & overwhelmed – i wanted to continue helping people, but i was simply too tired. I had “burnt myself out”. And while it made sense to take some time out to “recharge my batteries”, the thought of doing so was incredibly challenging for me to follow through with. When i thought about taking some time out for myself, i felt guilty, & i think this is true for many of us.

Do any of these beliefs ring true for you?

  • Putting my owns needs first is selfish
  • I can’t say no when someone asks me for help
  • People won’t like me unless i am self-sacrificing
  • I don’t deserve a sleep-in/massage/nice meal/nice clothes/etc
  • I don’t like spending money on myself
  • I should be helping others


(Image via: We ♥ it.)

The truth is, there is a big difference between being self-loving & being self-centred. A self-centred person is someone who is focused on their owns needs at all times, & is often oblivious or simply disinterested in the needs of others. They expect others to care for them & fulfil their needs, without ever returning the favour. They use other people for their own benefit, & often lack deep & meaningful relationships.

A self-loving person on the other hand, is not oblivious to the needs of others, but rather, recognises that without attending to their own needs first, they will be unable to attend to the needs of others. A self-loving person shows compassion not only to others, but also to themselves, & takes the time to listen to their needs, & attend to them with nourishment & a loving care.


(Image via: We ♥ it.)

Once i had “burnt out”, i was no real use to anyone – i had used up all of my energies, & had nothing left to give, either to others, or to myself. As Leslie Lobell says at The Art Of Loving; “You cannot keep giving to others if you do not give to yourself, first. It is like pouring water from a vessel: you cannot pour and pour without ever refilling it – eventually, it will run dry. Like that vessel, we, too, need to refill, recharge, and re-energize. We need to replenish ourselves, by loving and giving to ourselves.” And, so i began to “fill myself up”.

Now self-care is very much a part of my everyday life. Of course i have days where i overwork myself, where i take on too much, or give too much of my energy away to others, leaving little for myself. Of course there are still days where i feel tired, overwhelmed, or emotionally drained, but it is in these moments that i am reminded to stop, take a breath, & listen to what my body & my mind needs from me to recharge.


(Image via: ABC creativity)

So here is my challenge to you –
Day 1 – Self-Care:

  1. Stop.
    Stop everything. Do not try to multi-task. Give yourself this moment to truly focus on YOU.
  2. Get comfy.
    Find somewhere quiet. Get comfy, & take a deep breath. Clear your mind.
  3. Ask.
    What do i need right now?
    What is my body telling me it needs?
    What is my heart & soul asking me for?
  4. Listen.
    Put aside your “should”s, put aside your “need to”s – let those thoughts float by as if on a cloud. Listen to your intuition – what is the true answer to your questions?
  5. Do.
    If your body said it needed a cat-nap, go to sleep. Do not wait until you have finished what you “should” be doing – you’re body needs it’s rest now.
    If your mind told you it needed stimulation, make time for yourself now, to read that book, finish that jigsaw puzzle, or engage in that friendly debate.
    If your soul asked you for connection, call that friend for a chat, or go out & meet with them.
    Whatever your body & soul have asked from you in this moment, nourish them by fulfilling their request.

Be sure to pop on over to lifeinfullcolour’s Facebook page today, where our theme of Self-Care will be permeating my posts. And please feel free to share with me there, or here on the blog how you have found today’s Self-Care Challenge – i’d love to hear about your experiences! 🙂