Yeah…Immaeatthat

Nov 03

I’m NOT choosing a body size for myself, but I am choosing how I want to take care of myself.

I don’t believe ending up at a particular body size means I’m taking better or worse care of myself.

I’ve always been a very impulsive person, which played into me engaging in bingeing behaviors in the past (something I hope to share in a post in the near future.  I haven’t talked about my bingeing much and I think it could be helpful for some of you to hear my experience).  I do think that sometimes my impulsiveness serves me in positive way…like with starting a blog.  I probably wouldn’t have started a blog if I was a person who liked to sit around and think things out.

I’m NOT choosing a body size for myself, but I am choosing how I want to take care of myself. | immaEATthat.comSince there are areas of my life where being impulsive doesn’t serve me, one of the things I’ve done to take care of myself is doing things that make me less impulsive and more mindful.  Yoga, taking deep breaths while eating a fab meal to assess my fullness level, and long walks have been helpful in helping me:

  1. slow down
  2. tune into my body
  3. not want to dissociate away from myself and my feelings

I’ve also been playing around with some morning visualization mindfulness practices lately.  Not sure on my feelings about that and if it helps.  I’ll let you know after I do the thing I am spending time visualizing. 

I always felt so rushed growing up…and I’m not totally sure why that was.  Now I feel like I have so much time. Doing work I actually enjoy helps. I always dreaded school (high school, college, grad school…hated it all.).  I think because I had zero hobbies and I know now that I need a high level of independence to function well.  I always felt so controlled in school.

So two ways I choose to take care of myself are 1) increasing my mindfulness and 2) creating a career where I have a lot of independence. 

I’d love to get a good conversation going in the comments about ways you treat yourself well and choose to take care of yourself.  I think all of you (and me) could benefit from your ideas.  Things that have nothing to do with controlling your body size, but are instead centered around taking excellent care of yourself regardless of your body size.

I’m NOT choosing a body size for myself, but I am choosing how I want to take care of myself. | immaEATthat.com

24 comments on “I’m NOT choosing a body size for myself, but I am choosing how I want to take care of myself.”

  1. For me it is simple things like regularly taking the time to go down to the beach / water front, watching my favourite TV shows while wrapped in a blanket, going home frequently to hang out with my family and play with their puppy, drinking coffee and journaling / reading my bible in the morning, long showers, listening to podcasts and going to therapy.  I also find keeping my apartment clean / tidy is super important to me, as if this is a mess everything feels chaotic and disorganised.  I am also trying to find some new hobbies which will hopefully be good forms of self care as well.  I just got a new camera which I am excited to learn how to use properly.  I love the self care practices that I already have established though and find them all so helpful!

  2. I like to think of preparing 3 meals/day for myself as an act of self-care. Sometimes I may not feel like doing it (which is fine), but I know that being in the habit of providing nourishing meals for myself does so much for my mental health.
    Something I recently decided to pick up is trying to spend 5-10 minutes in complete silence. I’ve got such a distracted mind I think it will do a lot for centering me and allowing me to hear God’s voice.

  3. One of the most important tools in my recovery toolbox/self care acts has been to talk about my feelings/thoughts with my husband and sister. They had no idea what I was going through/thinking during my year and a half orthorexia struggle. I suffered in silence and they were both shocked by what I put myself through when I finally opened up. Now I practice talking about my anxieties and obsessive thoughts instead of bottling them up and allowing them to eat away at the progress I’ve made. Just by speaking them out loud, I can better identify what is truly going on and choose a way to cope with the feelings without turning to disordered eating behaviors.

    I also find that sitting with my flock of chickens eases any anxiety I might be feeling :) It’s hard to be tense when watching a flock of 60 and their antics.

  4. In my beginning journey to self love I have discovered that I love long walks/hikes out in nature. I find such peace and joy in that time. I also like hanging out with my roosters and chickens. It develops a calm in me. However, my time spent in God’s presence is my most calming, joyous, empowering time.

  5. One of my best ways I practice self care is saying no when it needs to be said. Last weekend I had plans for a really fun event but it was out of town and after so much traveling the past couple months I knew I needed a weekend at home… I did a little bit of work (recipe development), tv watching and lots of relaxing… now I feel more energized for upcoming events!

  6. I’ve found not committing to things simply to be a “yes” girl, and instead saying “I would love to do that, but I’m not sure if I’ve already got something else planned. Let me get back to you!” has created a lot of freedom and way less resentment for me. It’s one of the greatest acts of self-care I’ve allowed myself, even if it’s still a work in progress. Another small thing: I used to schedule my ClassPass classes way in advance, because I was so excited for the week to come, but I’ve found this takes away my ability to assess how I’m feeling, what type of activity (if any) my body is craving, etc since you get charged for canceling too late. So now, even if I miss some of the good classes, I only schedule one class at a time just before it starts. It works for me!

  7. The thing I do to treat myself is grabbing a coffee at my favorite local coffee shop and enjoying it with one of their house-made granola bars. I used to NEVER treat myself to anything if I hadn’t worked out that day. Now, I enjoy that granola bar (or cookie, or fro yo…) without thinking twice.

    There is such a freedom in that!

  8. I am just now working on self care. What I used to think was self care was a super intense work out whether I wanted to do it or not to compensate for what I was eating.
    Lately, I’ve been trying to wake up early and get out of the house to do errands or walk or run or whatever I want to before work. However I recently moved back in with my parents and younger sisters. So if I’m constantly gone they notice and feel kind of pushed aside.
    I feel trapped at home though and am scared I’ll end up over eating. What are some ways I can practice self care at home? Or find peace here?

  9. I couple people already mentioned it, but saying no is super important. I skip out on work parties and happy hours when I need a break from people and need to recharge my batteries alone at home. I also try to decline unnecessary meetings and procedures that are a time suck and breed resentment.

    Bringing my dog to work is amazing for decreasing my stress. Petting him instantly calms me and he forces me to get outside more throughout the day for walks in the fresh air.

  10. Knitting is my favorite self-care ritual. It is so meditative and calming to me, and I love to make something functional out of beautiful yarn. I also find running very meditative but as I’m trying to gain weight I’m trying to rely on that less as an outlet for self-care.

  11. I definitely agree with the getting out in nature comments, especially when the weather is nice. It puts you back in you own space. I also love yoga for this.
    Another way I take care of myself is to bake. You follow a neat, ordered recipe (maybe with a few variations) and something simple and delicious comes out at the end. It gives you a little faith. Plus, the next day, you get to pass on that self care by sharing it with others – making someone else’s day a little brighter as well as yours. 

  12. For me, the simple act of choosing healthy behaviors without the expectation of changing my body is incredibly difficult. I often feel discouraged from engaging in healthy behaviors that won’t change my body’s appearance. Lately, I’ve been trying to think about how I think the thin person I’ve always wanted to be would behave, and engaging in those behaviors now, because of course the size of my body does not prevent me from doing most of those things. Both yesterday and today, I spent time alone in an outdoor activity (bike ride yesterday, walk today) because these things quieted my mind and refreshed my soul.  I’m trying to be more like water and less like rock. And I think those activities were just as calming and refreshing for me as they would be for the smaller person I imagine!

  13. I love taking a walk with my dog everyday. I make sure to make it happen regardless of the weather. It’s extremely helpful for me whenever it’s the middle of winter and the last thing that I want to do is go outside. But once I do it I feel so refreshed and have a clear mind.
    I’ve also channeled self care in the form of taking the time to cook myself really nice meals. Not feeling rushed surrounding food has helped me enjoy the art of cooking and the love that goes into preparing a meal.

  14. A huge thing for me is protecting my sleep schedule. I say no to things that will interfere with sleep whether that be a late night out, a caffeinated beverage or a disturbing article/video. I also enjoy being independent, so most saturdays I try not to make huge plans for the morning and I just focus on doing literally whatever the hell I want to do.

    • I love the idea of protecting your sleep schedule. Sleeping more is one thing I’m trying to improve on!

    • I so agree with you! Sleep is everything. It helps me maintain my patience longer with my kids, be more creative, have more enjoyable workouts, and keep my hormones in check. I think more clearly, am more focused, and am all around a nicer person.

  15. Kylie, first of all I want to say thanks for yet another interesting and thought provoking post. I am loving the new way your blog is going and I think it’s a perfect balance of fun/recipes and serious articles! And I really do think you are helping people to embrace who they are and to refocus on what’s important in life. I’ve become much better at taking care of myself, and have finally accepted the fact that I am an introvert and need to balance fun with family and friend with ‘me time’. I plan my weekends so that I have at least one morning or afternoon where I can just do whatever I like (reading, sleeping, taking the dog for a long beach walk etc). I am still working on trying to find the right balance between what I have defined as being “healthy” (eating healthy foods and exercising a lot) and being happy (not worrying about what I eat and not exercising when I don’t feel like it). I find it so hard to judge when I just need to ‘toughen up’ and go for that run/workout I had planned (because I know I always do love it once I’m doing it and feel so much better afterwards) and when to listen to my body and skip what I had planned and do something gentle instead. I really find your blog is helping me with that and it honestly has changed my mindset so much already. So reading your blog is really one of my ways of taking care of myself!

  16. I have learned, and continue to have learned every day, that I usually take on more than I can handle as a defense mechanism for not being comfortable “sitting” with myself and dealing with free time. I’ve learned how important down time is for my mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health, but have always tried to fill all of my free time with “things” (hobbies, activities, workouts, “getting ahead of chores” etc). I am working on relaxing into the peace and quiet that comes with taking care of myself. It’s a beautiful thing, but something I am working on each and every day.

    I love what you said about how much life changes when you find a career path that aligns with what you love to do. I 100% agree. Having a purpose greater than myself and my body allows me to focus on contributing to the greater good in the world, and takes my attention away from exercise, food and weight. :)

  17. There was a recent article on how bingeing is associated with not taking time for yourself. I totally see that in myself. High-stress days where I’m busy and don’t take a moment to myself, I’m way more likely to binge. I’m in grad school (to be an RD) and there are weeks where I feel like I haven’t had one moment to relax and allow myself to do nothing, or something I enjoy and not school related. It’s such a contradiction of the lifestyle I want to promote to my future clients. The further I get into grad school, the more I realize, the work can wait. The world isn’t going to stop if I don’t respond to an email asap. My mental and physical health are more important.

  18. January of this year I moved across the country (with my boyfriend) to start a new job. Since that move. I have become single and found myself in a new place without a support network. I am lucky to work with great people, but there needs to be at least a little boundary between work and personal life. After the breakup my primary focus has been on creating a solid support group of friends in my new city. That has been hard and also incredibly rewarding as I stay true to who I am, while also being open to new people and things. I am learning to say no, to not be jealous [fomo] if I am not invited to do something I probably wouldn’t be interested in, like a late night, rowdy party. Along this journey I also started swimming again, go for long hikes where I ooh & ahh at nature and walk with my dog. I am also a huge fan of some nighttime tv cuddled up in a blanket. 

  19. Fresh air, stillness, journaling, and snuggling with my cat when I get home from work (instead of going right to my to do list – laundry, dishes, prepping dinner etc.) are all important. I also completely agree with many of the comments above about saying “no” and not spreading yourself too thin. However, another thing that’s been really important for me is also saying YES, especially to things that are outside my comfort zone. Particularly, this came up around planning social activities or basically anything that was spontaneous and unplanned. I was such a slave to my routine and schedule – especially around food and exercise – that I could never alter that to see a friend who wanted to make plans anything less than days in advance. Doing something spontaneous would mean changing a work out, or eating out instead of cooking for myself, or not getting a chore done that evening and these things would cause me to panic. Starting to say yes to things that sounded appealing, even if it was uncomfortable to not follow my plan for that day/week, has been huge in learning to get more in touch with my intuition. As a type A personality, planning versus being intuitive is still something that I struggle with, but I am learning with practice.

  20. Thank you for this awesome post, Kylie! I have been in the restrict/binge/over exercise cycle for what seems like forever! I am really looking forward to your post on bingeing. I have suffered from an eating disorder (not disordered eating) for twenty years now and I’m ready but scared(!) to break free from this prison.

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  22. I would love to hear more about your binge eating recovery. I am currently really struggling with that :( And honestly, feel hopeless.

    For self care, I have been having my husband take over baby duty two nights a week so that I can go out and do things. I’m a stay at home mom and realized, I need a break!

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