Happiness

11 Nov

That’s the smile of a girl who is ridiculously, blissfully, incredibly happy.

So, why the enormous grin, you might ask?

a) because I have an entire tub of mango gelato for my own personal consumption.

b) because I received the results of my first year at university!

Yes, that’s right… I survived what is known as one of the most confronting transitional periods in ones life: the passage from highschool to university, and dayum, I did good.

My results were as follows:

Literature- 89%

Children’s Literature- 90%

Professional Writing- 93%

Indonesian- 91%

I achieved these results whilst struggling mentally with the challenges of moving away from everything I’ve ever known. Not only did I surpass everyone else’s expectations… I exceeded my own.

If I can get results like that whilst juggling emotional cacti (excuse the bad botanical metaphor)… Imagine what is possible with mental stability and a positive outlook.

Yes, I have struggled. Yes, I have wanted to curl up in a ball and hibernate for years on end. Yes, I have been on the verge of mental breakdown.

But you know what? I overcame those obstacles, and there’s no freakin’ way anything else will stop me either.

I hope you’ve had a wonderful week. Even if I don’t know who you are… you are an amazing person and I have faith in you.

Q: What’s the last achievement you were truly proud of?

Q: How do you like to celebrate personal victories?

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I have returned…

8 Nov

Hello there my beautiful readers!

I have returned once again from an unexplained absence.

I’ve been a busy, busy bee in the almost-month since I last posted.

I’ve been back and forth from my parents’ house, my uni house and the city.

I have had some wonderful adventures:

– I got to visit the beautiful Amy for her birthday.

– I’ve been shopping for supplies to buy before I go to Indonesia.

– I’ve discovered a new favourite eating-place: Felafel Xtra in the city.

– I went shopping, and did not hesitate to buy clothes in a larger size than I’ve worn in the past.

– I’ve been exploring new recipes… enter this cookbook.

A gift from my wonderful mother.

– I’ve been spending some quality bonding time with my mother.

– I’m learning the importance of me-time.

– I’ve decided to put effort into what I wear each day. Not to impress anyone, just for me.

Putting on those shorts was a particularly daunting prospect.

Me and my curves: The outfit I wore today.

On the ED front, I’m going okay. Physically, I’m a healthy weight… it’s the thought patterns I still struggle with. Gradually, I’m learning to differentiate between my own thoughts, and ED thoughts. It’s like my brain is split into two parts. Nead, who loves food and trying new things… and ED who cares only for restriction and control. I’m trying to nourish the Nead-half, and shrink the ED half by distracting myself through spending time with my favourite people. So far, it’s working nicely.

I think I’ll leave you with some random food photos until I find something a little more substantial to post about.

My mother's delicious lentil soup

Dinner date with the boyfraaan. Hokkien noodles & vegetables.

Ricotta and spinach gnocchi. I need to upload this recipe. It is ah-mazing.


Icecream mess with strawbizzles, PB + nutella

apple-cinnamon-sultana oats

Favourite oatmeal combination of all time. Banana, vanilla yoghurt + PB

 

I hope you’ve been taking care of yourselves.

Nead ❤

This is my owl, Seamus. Isn't he adorable?

Q: What do you do when you feel like some ‘me time’?

Q: What is your favourite place to eat?

Honeys, I’m home!

18 Oct

As you may have noticed, I’ve been away for a while.

I made a list of excuses in my head and then concluded that none of them were good enough.

I’ve been struggling in so many ways over the past few weeks.

I have realized that it’s my decision to either dwell on the bad things, or put it all behind me and strive for happiness, balance and harmony.  Sure, there are factors that mean I’m at greater risk of mental health issues than some people… but they don’t determine my behaviour. It’s my choice to let negativity bring me down. I don’t know about you… but I don’t particularly enjoy feeling like crap. So from now on, I’m going to stop putting so much pressure on myself and just live.

 

I'd like you to meet my miniature poodle, Dolly.

 

A few things have happened in my life recently that I intend to blog about in future posts.

1.       I have officially survived my first year of university and am now on holidays until next March.

2.       I am going to Indonesia in December to study at an Islamic university for 6 weeks.

3.       I have been thinking about faith a lot lately. I need to stop pushing God away and rekindle my relationship with Him.

4.       I have been coming to terms with my new, curvier body. Having boobs (nice ones, mind you), and thighs, and a Beyonce-esque bum does not make me fat, or ugly. On the contrary, it makes me beautiful.

I’m going to finish on a sweet note and leave you with a muffin recipe.

Nead’s honeyed banana muffins

1 cup self raising flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon bicarb soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

40 g melted olive oil spread (I’m sure any butter alternative would work just as well)

4 tablespoons honey

¼ cup non-dairy milk

1 egg (this could be substituted for egg replacement to veganise the recipe)

1 large mashed banana

Method

1.       Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a 6 hole muffin pan with cooking spray.

2.       Sift flour, baking powder, soda and cinnamon into a medium sized mixing bowl.

3.       In a separate bowl, whisk together spread, milk, eggs,  honey and banana.

4.       Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture, and pour in the wet ingredients.

5.       Stir the mixture until just combined. Over stirring will result in tough, chewy muffins.

6.       Bake in a greased muffin pan for 20 minutes, or until golden and delicious smelling.

 

Please excuse the dodgy webcam quality.

 

 

Nead + Muffin = Neadmuffin

 

I’ve missed you all, and will endeavour not to go AWOL for such an extended period of time ever again.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and enjoy the week ahead

Q: What realisations have you come to lately?

Q: What’s your favourite recipe to bake?

Curry, Curves & Craziness

15 Sep

Hello lovelies, I hope you’re all having a wonderful Wednesday.

First of all, I’d like to extend a giant thank you to all those who have commented on my blog so far! Reading each of your comments makes  me realize what a lucky girl I am to have the opportunity to communicate with and receive advice from people who have shared similar experiences to me. You all made me smile and feel welcome in the blog world… it’s pretty daunting being the new kid!

Now, I’ll bore you with the events of my day. Warning: long and slightly jumbled post to follow. Read at own risk.

Her blissful slumber was punctured by the insistent beeping of an alarm clock. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes and registered that it was 700 hours. Her body ached. Her stomach growled. It was time to face the day. She pulled on some leggings and her runners, gulped down some water and headed out the front door, camera in hand. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. The sky was a clear, radiant blue and the sunshine lit up the suburban silhouette of the neighbourhood. As she stepped onto the footpath, she decided ‘Today is going to be a good day’.

And mostly, it was. I started my Wednesday with an hour-long stroll around my suburb. Usually this setting would be fairly dim and uninteresting, but the sunshine today made everything seem so… pretty.  Amazingly, I feel as if my mood is linked to the weather. It may sound a little bit bizarre… but as soon as those rays warmed my face I felt a kind of glow settle over me. Paramore kept me company on my walk… I let the music fill my ears and focused on the world around me.

I was so thrilled by my sunshine-music high I felt the urge to run. I wanted to feel my feet pound on the hard concrete beneath me. I wanted to sweat, and feel the wind pushing my hair back. I wanted to feel alive. Unfortunately, my short-lived run had the opposite effect. The part of my brain that obsesses over food and exercise really likes running. And not in a good way, either. I haven’t gone for a run in a long time…so my lungs felt the impact pretty quickly. As soon as I upped my pace, nasty thoughts crept into my mind. ‘Do you honestly think you can keep going? You’ve let yourself slip… look how lazy you’ve become’. I felt so naïve for thinking I could push myself like that… I know my brain associates running with disordered thoughts… I guess I just overestimated myself a little. But, at least I tried. Trying and failing is a lot less bitter than failing because you didn’t try at all.

I did not let that little incident ruin my beautiful walk, let alone my day. I told the voice to go top itself, and kept going. On my walk, I took a few photos of some things that caught my eye:

Suburban landscape

I adore cherry blossoms. What is your favourite flower?

Make a wish

The last uphill stretch of my walk left me famished! I arrived home ready to inhale the entire contents of my pantry. I settled for this delicious bowl of oats instead:

Om nom

Into the microwave went ½ cup of quick oats cooked in ½ cup of water, ¼ cup soy milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract and some sultanas. I topped the steaming bowl of awesomeness with 1 tsp of organic crunchy peanut butter. I seem to have gone through half a jar of peanut butter in less than a week… oops 😛

After breakfast, it was shower time! It’s amazing how much better a really good wash and blowdry can make you feel. As I emerged from the shower, I stopped for a second to examine my reflection in the mirror. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had negative thoughts about my body. Something was always too fat, or too wide, or too wobbly. I took a good, hard look at my body this morning and I realized something: my body was not made to be super thin. Yes, I have a small frame but on that frame are curves. My body is almost completely devoid of straight lines… curves are everywhere. And not just in the obvious places, either. I marveled at the curves from the back of my knee to my ankle, from my ear to my collar bone, even the curve of my armpit! It saddens me to think I was so intent on erasing all those womanly curves from my body. Today, I challenge you to think of one positive thing you really like about your body, preferably not related to weight.

Today, my belly was a beast! It growled, it grumbled and it was hungry all the time. I drank water, I drank tea… but my body still wanted food. So two hours after eating breakfast I caved and gave my body what it wanted. And it felt good.

Snackin' it urrrp

After some intense study time, I noshed on some leftovers from last night’s dinner. In this not-so-photogenic concoction was: steamed snow peas, red capsicum, broccoli, carrot, and yellow beans cooked in coconut milk and curry paste served atop of basmati rice.

I think this is self-explanatory.

My tastebuds sure enjoyed that curry… but an hour or two later my tummy certainly didn’t (Apologies for the information overload). A certain someone gave me lectures about ‘wasting’ calories on food that made me feel icky… but once again I told it to be quiet (In a not-so-polite way).

Dinner tonight went unphotographed… though it was exceptionally tasty and much prettier than lunch. I was craving carbohydrates again so cooked up 1 cup of wholegrain penne and topped it with a sauce made from tomato paste, a cup of steamed vegetables, and some flakes of tinned salmon. This was consumed whilst watching an episode of Skins with my housemate (hence the lack of photographs). I can’t quite pluck up the nerve to take food photographs in front of others yet.

I think I’ve blabbed on enough now, I hope you didn’t get too bored reading that enormous post!

I’m going to leave you with a photograph of a very important individual. His name is Winston, and we spoon every night:

The one man in my life who will never let me down.

Q: What is your favourite meal? Inspire me 😀

Q: What kind of exercise do you enjoy?

❤ Nead

Day 1

14 Sep

Hello there, inhabitants of the blogosphere!

How are you all this lovely Tuesday evening?

I’m Nead, it’s nice to…er…’meet’ you. For a more thorough introduction, head to my about me section and have a read.

So, you’re probably wondering who I am and what on earth I’m doing here.

I started reading food/health/recovery blogs at the start of this year when I moved in with the beautiful Amy (I’ll post a link to her blog once I figure out how to).  I was  amazed and inspired by the stories and lives of  such strong, beautiful, determined women. It gave me hope that recovering from a negative period in your life isn’t something you have to do on your own. It gave me faith that real, true recovery is not only possible, but it is within my reach.

For the last five years, I have struggled. I’ve experienced a low self esteem, depression and anxiety. I often felt as if I had no control over anything. So, as a coping mechanism I controlled what went in my mouth. Soon enough, I wasn’t in control anymore. I could not eat a thing without overwhelming waves of guilt. After a while, people started to notice. Among them was my mother. When she realised how little I was eating, she did everything in her power to make me stop. And I did. She weighed me every day, she watched me whilst I ate and would not let me go to the toilet for a good half an hour after eating. Gradually, I regained a healthy body weight. However my mind was anything but healthy. Whilst the disordered behavior lasted less than a year, the disordered thinking stayed with me. When I moved out of my parents’ house this year, things went down hill again. My food obsession intensified, and I began to reduce my food intake. This time, I am not going to let it impact on me, or on those that I love. I am going to get rid of this negative, diseased thinking before it consumes me.

I am so lucky. I have a loving, supportive family, an amazing boyfriend, and some of the best friends anyone could ever ask for. I am not willing to let anything steal me away from them.

So, there you have it. That’s my story.

Through this blog I’m aiming to get to know new people, and to give myself the responsibility of documenting my journey to positive thinking. That way, I can’t let it slip and I can’t make excuses. With time, I’m sure it will become less of an obligation, and more about writing for ‘me’. I’m a little scared/apprehensive about starting this… I’m afraid of being inadequate, of failing you as readers, and of failing myself. But I’m not going to let that stop me. That thought (and others like it) can go jump off something tall with rocks at the bottom.

I’m new to this whole blogging thing, so don’t be surprised if I seem a little ditzy and techno-illiterate at first.

I’m looking forward to getting to know you all, you have inspired me so much.

I’m going to leave you with a silly photo of yours truly reppin’ some stylish 3D glasses.

Q: How/why did you start blogging?

Q: How do you cope with negative thoughts?

❤ Nead

Hello world!

14 Sep

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