plus a delicious recipe for brussels sprouts, mushrooms and garlic, cooked down and dressed with apple cider vinegar. Topped with parmesan slices and almonds!
I've been stuck.
Have you ever felt stuck? I'm talking mentally, emotionally and maybe even professionally stuck. Not stuck like, in traffic or stuck, like when you're in line at a Taco Bell drive thru that's taking too long but theres now a car behind you and you can't go anywhere.
In the last few months, so many people have asked, "what's new on the blog?" and I just brush it off that I haven't had time to update and tell them that I'm not really sure if I planned to continue it. In reality, I just felt stuck. I wasn't sure how to continue with my blog knowing that I was struggling internally on so many levels.
A lot has happened since the last time I posted.
Let's start with the GREAT!
1. I got married!!!!! (see below!)
2. I got a new job!
3. I gained new perspective and purpose!
4. All my loved ones are healthy!
So why was I feeling stuck and internally conflicted?
that friend is the voice that a lot of have in our minds, that can sometimes be positive and quiet, but also can be negative and loud as ever.
As I started to grow my blog, I started comparing myself to other bloggers and the voice would tell me I'm not as good as them, that it's too hard to learn the proper photography to take my blog to the next level, and what was the point anyway? No one reads my blog anyway and even if they do, it's not different than whats already being done so why even try?
Oh, and the wedding you're planning, the biggest event of your life to date, you better look the best you ever looked, you better start dieting even though you gave that up years ago and know it will backfire on you, even though you tell people how anti-diet you are but part of your job is literally putting people on a diet (more on that later)
Oh no, what if something bad happens at the wedding that ruins everything? What if the music is horrible and everyone has the worst time ever?
Do I even like being a dietitian anymore? Or a blogger? What if people look at my blog and think, oh this is what I'm supposed to eat, not what I want to eat. That's the whole thing I don't want to happen, so maybe I'm just reinforcing something I don't want to. Better start second guessing every post and word I write on social media.
You should be an expert even though you're still SO fresh in your career. Why aren't you as smart as the other dietitians you see on social media?
I think you get the point....and honey, the voice just exhausted me.
And I did.
You see, I have a history with disordered eating and when things start to stress me out, the voice of my disordered eating rears its ugly head and gets louder and louder. I started dieting, feeling insecure about my body, my capabilities, about my decisions professionally and just second guessing everything. And I knew it was happening, I could see the pattern return but I couldn't stop it.
And it's taken me a few months but I am so happy to say I got through to the other side. I knew it would take some work, some therapy and even some tears, but I finally feel like I'm on the other end of it.
Planning a wedding can be stressful - a lot of people coming together, a lot of expectations and a lot that can go wrong. Ultimately, none of it mattered. It was more perfect than I could have ever imagined. We had the best caterers/venue, the best time EVER and the one thing I had no doubt about, was being married to my better half. (Cheesy, but true)
And I was unhappy at my job. I lost a lot of the motivation I had going into dietetics - I was working in a medical weight loss program and although I truly believe working with my patients in this program was the best part of my career to date, I didn't believe in putting them (or anyone) on a diet. I felt conflicted when they would tell me that they had something that was great for them (and by great, I mean they allowed themselves to have the food they wanted and were able to be present) and that they enjoyed, although I knew it would derail their weight loss because of the nature of the diet they were on. I worked hard on teaching intuitive eating and mindful eating, although I knew how hypocritical it all was. As a new dietitian (or really anyone starting his or her career), you can't always control what your job will be in the beginning. This was the job I was hired to do, in addition to working in a clinical setting. Although this additional role provided me with excellent skills, I always knew it wasn't the field I was passionate about.
So what did I do?
I worked on it. I decided to work as hard as I could with my patients to allow them to find peace with food, despite being on a diet. I worked on myself. I was present in my feelings after dieting (and grateful for a husband who listened to me talk about it), and worked on the struggle to get back to where I was with food peace. I reached out for help. And I was SO fortunate to find another job that I think will be perfect for me.
I didn't realize how much my current position was weighing me down. And I feel a new excitement going into my new job working at a university and getting to make the job truly my own. That means helping students, faculty and staff on their goals, working with the principles of intuitive eating and getting to work with food in a fun way!
Also - I was following so many amazing dietitians on social media, but also some people who I don't agree with. Who use words like clean eating, or encourage detoxing, or restricting of any form. So I unfollowed the ones who made me feel any form of discouraged, but looked at the ones I compared myself to for ways to learn from them. And also, to remember, we are a community - especially so many anti-diet dietitians.
My blog is as much for me as I hope it is a place for you. I enjoy cooking, sharing my recipes and practicing my art form.
Slowly but surely, I am starting to feel free again.
And now here we are...blogging again!
I learned a lot in these last few months - that you don't have to feel stuck, that you can ask for help, that it may not be easy but it will be worth it. And that life will never be perfect.
But you know what is pretty close to perfection?
This warm brussels sprout and mushroom salad!
Such an easy side dish thats full of flavor - toasty with some warm notes from the apple cider vinegar that is cooked down.
Buy the Brussels shredded and it cuts the work in half. Easy peasy and delish!
A place of freedom.
A place of peace.
A blog that will be focused on lifestyle, rather than exclusively food.
A life that is purposeful.
A career that helps people move away from the diet culture to find a place of food freedom.
Lots of LOVE as always,